This struck me as being factually incorrect, since there are no talks, and I immediately wrote a letter to the Courant pointing that out. I did so, in large measure, because one connotation of talks being stalemated is an equality of blame.
The Letters Editor of the Courant disagreed with my opinion that the term stalemated was factually incorrect since one might consider talks to be ongoing even though none are taking place now. This may not be a completely accurate description, but it was a reasonable position even if one with which I disagreed. In any case, he very quickly (two days later) published my letter with a very minor modification. This is what was published.
Mideast Sides Aren't Talking
The Dec. 7 news brief "The Number," about $64 million the World Bank and other donors pledged to help the Palestinian Authority prepare for statehood, incorrectly stated that "talks with Israel are stalemated."
Talks are not stalemated. There simply are no talks.
The reason there are no talks is that the supposedly moderate leaders of the Palestinian Authority, at least those in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), as opposed to the recognized fanatical terrorists in charge of Gaza, refuse to negotiate with Israel.
Given that the content of negotiations always boils down to how much more Israel will give the Palestinian Arabs to induce them to agree to live in peace in a state of their own alongside Israel, one must wonder whether the goal of the Palestinians really is an independent state or remains, as still written in the charters of Hamas, Fatah and the PLO, the elimination of the free and democratic state of Israel.
Alan H. Stein, president, Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting-Connecticut, Waterbury
That very morning, I received the following email from a Mr. Peter Dudack <email@example.com>.
the editor was a joke. Like you could give an un-biased opinion to save your life.
Usually, I don't respond to crank emails like that, but perhaps because the fact that he used an email account from the Hamilton Sundstrand subsidiary of United Technologies, indicating he might be one of the more intelligent cranks, I sent a short response, simply noting: "Two of the interesting aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict are that the Arabs continually falsely accuse Israel of sins for which they are guilty and their supporters continually accuse the supporters of Israel of sins for which they themselves are guilty."
To this, I received an even shorter response: "and you are guilty of nothing...like I said quite the joke."
It seems clear further correspondence would be pointless, but his clearly (at best) misguided statement of equivalence between Israel and 9/11 did make me think more about the strong connections between those who have perpetrated six decades of war on Israel and those who perpetrated 9/11.
The motivation of both is the fear and loathing of the liberal, Western culture and values held and exemplified by both Israel and America.
Israel's sin is being a bastion of Western freedom in the midst of a Middle East dominated by Arabs and Islam, even though Israel is basically the continuation, after a long interruption, of a sovereign nation that existed long before Mohammed created Islam.
Those who say Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East resent America because of its support of Israel actually have it backwards; they resent Israel because it is looked upon as an outpost of America and the West.
Similarly, as is clear to anyone who pays attention to what Al-Qaeda was saying before it realized it could find additional recruits if it added in anti-Israel rhetoric, the motivation for 9/11 was connected to the fanatical opposition to the American presence in Saudi Arabia that came when the United States came in to rescue Kuwait after Saddam Hussein's invasion and to save Saudi Arabia from the same fate.
But facts never get in the way of the hatreds of those who try to promulgate the absurd theory of Jewish complicity with 9/11.