Rashid Khalidi ("Listen to the Palestinians: PLO Is the Reality," Op-Ed Page, Aug. 19) claims that Israelis assert that "the Arabs do not mean what they say," and that this is a "form of arrogance." When the Palestinians say "as one" that they are represented by the PLO, and will accept no less than self-determination and statehood, they are simply ignored. But the truth in fact is quite the opposite. The Palestinian National Covenant (May, 1964), which is the charter of the PLO and cannot be amended except by a two-thirds majority of the National Council of the PLO, asserts that the Jews are not a people with an independent existence (Article 20), and as a consequence cannot have a right to national liberation, self-determination or statehood.
However, according to the covenant, Palestinians do have such rights; their armed struggle is strategy and not tactics, and its goal is the annihilation of Israel. And in Jerusalem, these words are taken seriously. The sine qua non of a political solution is the mutual acceptance by Jews and Palestinians of each other's rights of self-determination and nationhood.
ZIVIA S. WURTELE