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No peace, just more conflict

September 27, 2008

Re "Ehud Olmert's failed promises," Opinion, Sept. 20

I write as a native Angeleno, though one who now lives in Nablus, Palestine. I live in a city that is besieged by both Israeli occupation forces and armed, illegal settlers. What Gershom Gorenberg fails to understand is that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was merely a continuation of all Israeli leaders before him. For 15 years, Israel has used the so-called peace process as a mask for what feels far more like a war process on the ground.

The one key to a lasting agreement is never touched: the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. It is this promise to refugees that Israeli and Palestinian leaders alike fail to discuss and therefore fail to achieve.

Marcy Newman

Nablus, Palestine


Gorenberg's criticism of Olmert is based on the false premise that Jewish settlements constitute the obstacle to peace between Israel and the so-called Palestinians. Red hot to demonize Jewish settlers who have successfully built productive communities in Judea and Samaria, Gorenberg repeats the deliberate lie that those settlements are in "occupied" territory. To the contrary, Judea and Samaria belong to Israel under international law, and Jews have every right to live there.

The negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are a dangerous chimera. Olmert deserves to be condemned, but not for the reason posited by Gorenberg. Instead, Olmert's disgrace has been earned by his shameless corruption as well as his eagerness to sacrifice Israel's security on the altar of appeasement.

Steven Goldberg


The writer is national vice president of the Zionist Organization of America.

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