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Palestinians Must Take Next Step Toward Peace

August 08, 2004

It is surprising that in his assessment of Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan, David Newman focuses exclusively on Sharon and the consequences of his policies, with nary a mention of the Palestinians and their policies of the last four years (Commentary, Aug. 4). The disengagement plan is Sharon's response to unending Palestinian terror and violence and refusal to negotiate with Israel.

Israel cannot be expected to transfer control of the seaport or airport in Gaza to Palestinian Authority control until the Palestinians demonstrate their commitment to end their campaign of violence against Israel. For now, Palestinian terrorists continue to smuggle weapons via the seaport and tunnels from Egypt into the Gaza Strip to be used in attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians. Sharon should be commended for giving the Palestinians another opportunity to change their destiny.

With the disengagement, it is time for the Palestinians to build on these concessions, create a responsible governing structure, end terrorism and demonstrate that they are serious about living alongside Israel in peace.

Howard Sherwood

Chair, Anti-Defamation

League, Los Angeles

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