Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Netanyahu's Lost Opportunities

The following was submitted as a letter to The New York Times in response to their editorial blaming Israel for missing opportunities to make peace with the recalcitrant Palestinian Arabs.

To the editor:

The assertion, in the editorial "Mr. Netanyahu's Lost Opportunities," that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "has never shown a serious willingness" to make progress towards peace would have been stronger if it contained a list of some of the ways Netanyahu has fallen short. Here's such a list.

Turning down a generous peace offer. Oops, Netanyahu hasn't been presented with even a realistic, no less a generous, peace offer. It was Mahmoud Abbas who walked away in 2008 when presented with an incredibly generous offer.

Refusing to negotiate. Oops, wrong again. Netanyahu has virtually begged the Palestinian Arabs to negotiate, going so far as freezing construction in Jewish communities in the disputed territories and releasing dozens of convicted terrorists, including mass murderers to bribe the Palestinians into negotiations. It's been Mahmoud Abbas who's essentially refused to negotiate since walking away in 2008 and it's the Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister who last month said the PA would never again negotiate directly with Israel.

Inciting his people against the Palestinian Arabs, even insisting he won't allow Arabs to desecrate the Temple Mount with their "dirty feet." Oops, wrong again. It's Abbas who said he wouldn't allow Jews to desecrate their holiest site with their "dirty feet" and who saying any blood spilled in defending the Temple Mount against those "dirty feet" was "pure."

Glorifying the murder not only of Arabs, but of Americans. Oops, wrong again. It's the terror group - er, political party - Fatah headed by Abbas which praised the murderer of American tourist Taylor Force as a "heroic Martyr," and Abbas' Palestinian Authority which actually referred to the murdered American as a "settler."

Violating the commitment under the Oslo Agreements to not attempt to unilaterally change the status of the disputed territories outside a negotiated agreement between the parties. Oops, wrong again. It's Abbas who unilaterally went to the United Nations to get "Palestine" recognized as a state.

Rejected the essence of a two-state solution, an Arab state for the Palestinian people and Israel for the Jewish people. Oops, wrong again. It's Mahmoud Abbas who has repeatedly insisted he will never accept Israel as the Jewish state.

Oops. I guess it's not very easy to construct a list of ways Netanyahu has failed to show "a serious willingness" to make progress towards peace. No wonder The New York Times didn't include such a list in its editorial.


Alan Stein

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