As an American of Palestinian heritage, I agree with Kuttab's article that no Palestinian would accept an autonomy short of statehood. To be in charge of collecting garbage, mail delivery and repairing roads is not the same as being able to choose your own leaders, raise your own flag or vote in a popular election. As Americans, we should understand the political aspiration of the Palestinian people. After all, we rejected the British flag and the British rule in the colonies. Instead, we opted for our own flag and government and kept the democratic ideals of our enemies. The Palestinians want no more or less. Israel should not fear a Palestinian state. The Palestinians are very intelligent and know very well what is at stake in case of hostilities with Israel. Certainly, they will lose everything they fought for since 1948. Four Arab armies were convincingly crushed by Israel in 1967 in less than six days. The Palestinians are sick of war and bloodshed. They long for freedom and statehood.
Israel's fears should be replaced by hopes and plans for the future. Peaceful coexistence between equals is the best remedy for all conflicts.
WILLIAM G. SHAHIN