Media Watch

Israel and the Palestinians, 50 Years Later

ADL reacted to an op-ed in The New York Times which "bears no resemblance to the complicated reality" between Israel and the Palestinians.

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Israel’s Everlasting Occupation” (Sunday Review, June 4):

Nathan Thrall attributes to Israel an early determination to hold on to the territories. In fact, from the outset after the Six-Day War, Israel saw its winning territory as a perfect bargaining chip finally to get the Arabs to accept Israel’s legitimacy and to end their war against the Jewish state.

The three no’s at Khartoum later in 1967 by the Arab League — no to peace, no to recognition, no to negotiations — began the stalemate.

Mr. Thrall suggests that Israel takes steps toward peace only when pressed, by the United States diplomatically or by Palestinian violence. But Israel took major initiatives in 2000 and 2008 in which Israel offered the Palestinians more than 90 percent of the territories, without any pressure.

Mr. Thrall rationalizes Palestinian rejection in both cases on the absurd grounds that Israel did not offer the Palestinians 100 percent of the territory.

Among the many things he chose not to speak about were Palestinian incitement against Israel and Jews, the Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate for the last eight years, and their unwillingness to accept Israel as a Jewish state.

There is enough blame to go around as to why there is so little progress after 50 years. Mr. Thrall’s version of events bears no resemblance to the complicated reality.


Kenneth Jacobson
Deputy National Director