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Approach to Peace is Not One-Sided

March 6, 2014

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times 

To the Editor:

Re “Israel’s Choice” (March 6):

There’s no question Israel has difficult decisions to make in the days ahead concerning a potential framework agreement between itself and the Palestinians.  To suggest, however, that it is simply Israeli decision-making which will determine the success or failure of Secretary of State John Kerry’s endeavors is both a gross misreading of reality and a counterproductive approach that almost begs for failure.

While it may be true Mahmoud Abbas is the most moderate Palestinian leader, he is no Mandela, and he still has not demonstrated a willingness to accept Israel’s permanence and legitimacy in the region as a Jewish state.  That qualitative leap has been at the heart of this conflict for six decades.  Your dismissal of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence on this point, much like your focus only on “Israel’s Choice,” speaks to a fundamental misreading of what this conflict is about.

What you call Mr. Netanyahu’s ambivalence is, in fact, a reaction to years of history where Palestinian rejectionism and terror have been the main response to peace efforts.  Focusing on “Palestinian Choices” as well as Israeli would do far more to help move the parties to constructive engagement.


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