Thursday, November 19, 2009

Obstruction of Peace

Published in The Waterbury Republican-American November 18, 2009:


I could only laugh at the Nov. 16 article "Palestinians ask U.N. to endorse a state," suggesting such a request "appeared more an expression of frustration with U.S. and Israeli policies and stalled peace talks than a real effort to go it along."

Perhaps there is some frustration with the understandable refusal of the Israelis to cave to all of the Palestinian Arabs' outrageous demands, but it has been the Palestinian Arabs themselves who repeatedly have refused offers for the establishment of a state on virtually all the disputed territories.

Peace talks are not just stalled now; they are nonexistent. The reason there are no peace talks is Mahmoud Abbas, the supposedly "moderate" leader of the West Bank portion of the Palestinian Authority as well as the Fatah and PLO terror groups, refuses to talk with Israel.

Like most of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Palestinian Arabs' refusal to negotiate with Israel is hard for the rational, Western mind to understand because the substance of those talks would focus on the establishment of the state the Arabs claim to want along with the quantity and quality of additional Israeli concessions.

Any frustration on the part of reason able Palestinian Arabs should be with their own, rejectionist leadership rather than with America and Israel, both of which have gone to extremes to appease the Arabs.

Alan H. Stein

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

The following was submitted to The Waterbury Republican-American October 26, 2009 but was not published:

Reading the October 26 article about the Muslim riots on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, one might miss the single sentence, "There was no evidence to support either claim."

This notes the vacuousness of claims that Israel was plotting to damage Islamic sites and to let Jews pray on the Temple Mount.

This demonstrates the Muslim "religious" leaders whom Israel, with incredible tolerance, has allowed day-to-day control over Judaism's most sacred site, deliberately instigated the riots.

The first false claim is doubly ironic. The Islamic sites were built on the ashes of the Jews' destroyed Temple, while irresponsible and illegal Arab construction activity has done extensive structural damage to the Temple Mount and destroyed irreplaceable historical artifacts.

The second false claim highlights the undue consideration Israel has given to Muslim sensitivities. It is mind-boggling that, in deference to Muslims, Israel has even prohibited Jews from praying at their own holiest site!

Imagine an analogous situation such as Saudi Arabia prohibiting Muslims from praying at Mecca or Medina. Contrast this with the horrible treatment of Christians in Hamas-controlled Gaza and Palestinian Authority-controlled Bethlehem.

An Arab-Israeli peace awaits the emergence of a Palestinian Arab leadership which puts the welfare of its people ahead of its desire to destroy Israel, the one bastion of Western-oriented democracy in the Middle East. That one of the rioters, arrested after reportedly physically attacking a police officer, was Hatam Abd al-Qadir, advisor on Jerusalem affairs to the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, reinforces this sad truth.

The following was submitted to The Hartford Courant November 2, 2009 but was not published:

Those who wish to understand why the Arab-Israeli conflict defies resolution should carefully read the November 1 article, "Clinton pushes peace talks."

Praising Israeli concessions being made even in the absence of negotiations, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "What the prime minister has offered in specifics on restraints on a policy of settlements ... is unprecedented."

In response, the supposedly "moderate" leader of the West Bank branch of the Palestinian Authority "Mahmoud Abbas is sticking to his refusal to resume negotiations."

Aside from isolated exceptions, the Arab world hasn't really progressed from its rejectionist position of forty-two years ago, when the Arab League met in Khartoum and responded to Israel's clear willingness to withdraw from the then recently captured territories if the Arabs would only agree to peace with its infamous "Three Nos:" no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel.

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