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Letters: Dealing with Hamas

December 21, 2012
  • Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal waves to Palestinian students during his visit to the Islamic University in Gaza City on Dec. 9
Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal waves to Palestinian students during… (Mohammed Saber / EPA )

Re "Hamas' hard line," Editorial, Dec. 19

While I agree with most of your editorial calling out Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal for his comments rejecting a two-state solution for the Palestinians and Israel, I feel that calls for more Israeli concessions are not warranted.

Israel has made numerous unproductive concessions. It unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005, only to have Hamas turn Gaza into a launching pad for thousands of rockets aimed at Israel. Israel gave up the security zone along the Lebanese border in 2005, only to have Hezbollah turn that into a missile launching pad. Most recently, Israel called a 10-month moratorium on settlements, only to have Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refuse to negotiate.

The Palestinians have made no meaningful concessions. Such one-sidedness will not bring about peace.

Emanuel R. Baker

Los Angeles

In calling for a Palestinian state "from the river to the sea and from the south to the north," Meshaal did not mean that the Palestinian Arabs would get back all their homeland tomorrow, or even in the next several years, but eventually. This is reflected in his oft-repeated proposal for a 10-year truce with Israel.

So your editorial should have criticized Hamas for attacking Israel with rockets and mortars. A desperate people's inclination to lash out at their oppressors is understandable, but in the case of Hamas, it is suicidally unwise. The 48-pound weakling does not go around kicking the schoolyard bully in the shins. The Palestine Liberation Organization absorbed this truth decades ago, and Palestinians in the West Bank now enjoy some normality.

Your editorial refers to negotiations toward an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. This is bunk. Israel will never accede to such a thing.

Richard Herman

Costa Mesa

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