Friday, April 5, 2013

Obama Urged Israel To Do What It Has Already Done Many Times

Published in the Connecticut Post March 28, 2013 under the title "Israel has made many concessions" and in the Greenwich Time and Stamford Advocate on April 2, 2013 under the title "Israel has compromised."

To the editor:

Re: the article "Obama urges Israel to compromise" published March 22:

Israel has already made enormous, painful compromises and is clearly ready to make more if it will bring about peace.

Even before the reestablishment of Israel, the Zionists acquiesced when Great Britain severed the East Bank of Palestine, comprising nearly 80 percent of Palestine, to create what is now Jordan, and then agreed to every further partition proposed, including the United Nations Partition Plan, even as each was rejected by the Arabs.

After it captured the currently disputed territories in 1967 after being attacked by Jordan, Israel made clear its readiness to return it all to Jordan and Egypt if those countries would agree to peace, only to be met with the infamous "Three Nos" of the Arab League: no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no peace with Israel.

At least twice it has offered virtually all the disputed territory to the Palestinian Arabs, despite the fact that Israel's historical, legal and moral claim to that land is at least as great as that of the Arabs.

The first time, Yasser Arafat responded to Israel's offer with a wave of terror. The second time, Mahmoud Abbas responded by refusing to negotiate and has publicly insisted, "I can't allow myself to make even one concession."

Peace requires compromise. The Israelis remain ready. The Palestinian Arabs clearly aren't.

Alan Stein

The writer is president emeritus of PRIMER-Connecticut (Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting).