President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn to the Oval Office of… (Carolyn Kaster / Associated…)
Re "The Israel trip," Opinion, March 8
Ami Ayalon's suggestions to President Obama as he prepares for his trip to Israel make the assumption that the United States should continue in its role as mediator between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Obama has shown his clear bias toward Israel in many ways. He came out against the Goldstone Report, a United Nations investigation into the Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip in 2008; he never condemned the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara and the killing of a U.S. citizen by an Israeli commando; he blocked a Palestinian bid for U.N. observer status; and he has retreated from earlier demands of a settlement freeze on Palestinian lands.
When the United States issues the lone veto of a U.N. draft resolution condemning Israeli settlements, how on Earth does Ayalon think Obama can be an impartial mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians?
I firmly agree with Ayalon that a two-state solution is vital if Israelis are ever to know peace and total acceptance in the world community. Yisrael Medad, who wrote the other Op-Ed piece in this package, speaks for the settlers who choose to live in Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank.
The simple solution is to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with the stipulation that the hundreds of thousands of settlers can choose to remain. Israel has many non-Jewish citizens, so why can't a new Palestinian state tolerate the Jewish settlers?
Martin J. Weisman
If Medad truly believes the Jewish settlements beyond the 1967 armistice line are legitimate and should be permanent, then he should support the logical next step and give all the adult legal residents in those areas the vote in Israeli elections. This would create a one-state solution with an Arab majority. Otherwise, Israel will be maintaining a non-democratic apartheid state in the West Bank.
David Ben-Gurion, a founder of modern Israel, recognized in 1948 that for Israel to be a Jewish, democratic state, the Zionists had to accept partition, with a Jewish majority in Israel and Arabs outside the Jewish state.
Medad not only undermines Israel's democratic Zionist principles and security, he also asks the United States to forswear its own democratic principles and security interests.
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