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Letters: Who's blocking Mideast peace?

February 23, 2013

Re “Moving past stalemate,” Opinion, Feb. 19

Maen Rashid Areikat relies on what has become the standard Palestinian rationalization for refusing to return to negotiations with Israel until the settlement issue is resolved. He relieves the Palestinians of any responsibility to resume negotiations unless either Israel or the United States takes some action. 

Israelis haven't become indifferent toward the peace process; successive polls continue to demonstrate their strong desire to achieve a lasting peace. The problem lies with the Palestinian leadership, which has resorted to unilateral international actions, including upgrading their United Nations status last November, that are counterproductive toward ending the conflict with Israel. Nevertheless, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has continued calling on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table.

As long as Abbas and other Palestinian leaders engage in prejudicial international tactics and continue demanding unreasonable preconditions for the resumption of negotiations, peace with Israel will remain elusive.

Seth M. Gerber
Los Angeles

The writer is the Pacific Southwest Region chairman of the Anti-Defamation League.

I commend Areikat for pointing out that nonviolent resistance by the Palestinians has been met by Israeli recalcitrance. How the continued confiscation of a people's land and resources can be called “national defense” is incomprehensible.

The U.S. should stop providing Israel with financial and military assistance until it agrees to conform to U.S. standards, international law and the parameters already laid out in various U.N. resolutions for an end to the conflict. Our tacit support for Israeli aggression and occupation has provided terrorists one reason to hate us.

Paul McDermott
Los Angeles

The only country willing to discuss a two-state solution is Israel.

Who else? Hamas, whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel? The Palestinian Authority, whose president can't make a deal because Hamas and his people won't let him? Even when Israel put a freeze on construction of new housing in the West Bank for almost a year, no one on the Palestinian side was willing to talk.

To discuss a two-state solution requires recognizing Israel's right to exist. Until the Palestinians and other Arab leaders are ready to recognize Israel's right to exist, there will never be peace in the Middle East.

Zach Samuels
Los Angeles

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