Who's blocking Mideast peace?

The following letter appeared in the Los Angeles Times on February 23, 2013

Letters to the Editor
Los Angeles Times

Re “Moving past stalemate,” Opinion, Feb. 19

Maen Rashid Areikat relies on what has become the standard Palestinian rationalization for refusing to return to negotiations with Israel until the settlement issue is resolved. He relieves the Palestinians of any responsibility to resume negotiations unless either Israel or the United States takes some action.

Israelis haven't become indifferent toward the peace process; successive polls continue to demonstrate their strong desire to achieve a lasting peace. The problem lies with the Palestinian leadership, which has resorted to unilateral international actions, including upgrading their United Nations status last November, that are counterproductive toward ending the conflict with Israel. Nevertheless, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has continued calling on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table.

As long as Abbas and other Palestinian leaders engage in prejudicial international tactics and continue demanding unreasonable preconditions for the resumption of negotiations, peace with Israel will remain elusive.

Seth M. Gerber
Pacific Southwest Region chairman of the Anti-Defamation League

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