June 11, 2009
The White House
2600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As someone who dreams of an Arab-Israeli peace, I am distressed that your policies thus far have been shortsighted, counterproductive and morally wrong.
Far from this being a time of opportunity that should not be missed, there obviously can be no realistic prospect for peace until the damage resulting from the mishandling of the Oslo Process is repaired.
The creation of a de factor terror state in Gaza, the indoctrination of a generation of Palestinian Arab youth in hatred and the glorification of terrorism, and the destruction of the infrastructure in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority must all be reversed before peace again becomes possible.
This process will, under the best of circumstances, take many years. Prematurely trying to pressure the parties into a final settlement can only exacerbate the problems and delay the time when the Arab states and the Palestinian Arabs finally agree to peace.
Given this reality, pressuring Israel for additional concessions at this time is particularly counterproductive. It simply reinforces one of the primary roadblocks to peace, the belief of the Arabs that their rejectionism will always result in additional pressure on Israel.
Thus, even if under ordinary circumstances pressuring Israel for a complete freeze on construction in and of Jewish communities in the disputed territories could be justified, it is particularly harmful now.
Additionally, since almost all concessions up until now have been made by Israel, it is obvious to all the bulk of future concessions will be made by Israel. The willingness of Israel to made disproportionate concessions is related to the their confidence in our reliability. When we renege on our existing understandings, formal and informal, regarding Jewish communities in the disputed territories, we undermine any Israeli trust in us.
I strongly urge you to abide by existing understandings and stop pressuring Israel about their communities in the disputed territories.
Far more effective in furthering peace would be a principled stand asserting that all people, Arab and Jew, have the right to live in those territories and sending to the Palestinian Arabs the message that the longer they continue to reject peace the less land they are likely to wind up with.
cc: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton