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Letters: Untying the Middle East knot

March 29, 2013

Re "Palestinian politics do matter," Opinion, March 24

Khaled Elgindy, a former advisor to Palestinian leadership, is right when he says, "The United States does not have to like Palestinian politics or endorse its themes or outcomes — any more than it needs to embrace the appointment of pro-settlement and anti-peace figures to Israel's Cabinet — but it does need to acknowledge them."

Israelis are fond of saying, "How can you expect us to negotiate with organizations that want to destroy our state?" How would Israelis react if Palestinians demanded that people who believe that Palestinians have no right to a state be excluded from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet? How can Palestinians negotiate with people who refuse to acknowledge their very existence?

Both sides must recognize that each has its extremists. People have to admit that, while they may hate the ideology of the person with whom they are negotiating, they have no choice but to negotiate.

Arch Miller

Arcadia

With President Obama's visit to the Mideast behind us, it is hoped the Palestinians can overcome their internal politics and pursue peace.

The Palestinians have demonstrated the maxim of one man, one vote, one time. Sectarian rivalries make democracy impossible; only compromise among ruling factions provides any stability. The regimes that surround Israel are changed by the sword, not the ballot box.

Palestinians are indeed frustrated, living so close and yet so far from the modern miracle that is Israel. If their leaders forswore anti-Semitism and took up the challenge, there would quickly be a Palestine, linked economically with Israel, that would be the envy of its less-advanced neighbors.

"International acceptance and domestic legitimacy" for Palestine depend on peace with Israel. America recognizes this; so should the Palestinians.

Len Bennett

Deerfield Beach, Fla.

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