Response to Khalid Rashidi

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re "Is Any Hope Left for Mideast Peace?" (Mar. 12)

What is so disheartening about Rashid Khalidi's article is his manipulation of history in a way that indicates that very little has changed in Palestinian attitudes toward Israel.

Had he merely complained about Israeli settlements and the continuing occupation, that would have been one thing, but to talk about the peace process as "indulging Israeli intransigence over Palestine" and blaming the process itself on the emergence of a right-wing Israeli government is to distort reality to such an extent as to make it unrecognizable.

The peace process that he deplores led to Israeli offers first in 2000, then again in 2008 to withdraw from over 90% of the territories and dismantling a majority of the settlements in order to create a Palestinian state. It was not the process that was at fault but Palestinian rejection of the offers Israel put on the table that would have fundamentally changed the Palestinian condition.

An Israeli right-wing government emerged in 2009 not because of an "indulgent peace process," but because Israeli voters saw Palestinians not only rejecting peace but turning to terror, suicide bombs and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. So they turned more toward the security side of the peace and security equation.

It is the Palestinians themselves who suffer the most from the distortions embodied in Khalidi's diatribe.


Abraham H. Foxman
National Director

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