Monday, April 5, 2010

Article Misstated Latest Developments In The Middle East

This letter was published Monday, April 5 in the Waterbury Republican-American. Unfortunately, he title didn't accurately reflect the contents.

It's a sad commentary when the continued reluctance of Israel's Arab neighbors to make peace is considered news ("Arab leaders back peace efforts," March 29).

The Arab League rejected pressure from Syria and Libya to with draw support for indirect talks between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel, and to "resume armed resistance." Apparently, the terror attacks from Lebanon and Gaza, including the rocket that killed an innocent worker in Israel on March 18, aren't considered "armed resistance."

Those indirect talks, which the supposedly moderate leader of the Palestinian Arabs, Abu Mazen, still refuses, would be a step backward to the pre-Oslo situation when the Palestinian Arabs refused to talk directly to Israel. The article also falsely refers to Arab "opposition to Israeli plans for new Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem."

The Israeli government hasn't built new "settlements" anywhere in the disputed territories or Jerusalem since the start of the failed Oslo Process.

The writer was inaccurately refer ring to plans for additional housing in Ramat Shlomo, an existing Jewish neighborhood in north Jerusalem that, far from being a "settlement," is an established community larger than any of Waterbury's suburbs, and conceded even by the Palestinian Arab leadership as destined to remain within Israel under any conceivable agreement.

Alan Stein

The writer is president of PRIMER-Connecticut (Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting;

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