Thursday, June 20, 2013

New York Times (As Usual) Ignores Reality

This was originally sent as a letter to The New York Times, which had been the epitome of what a newspaper should be when I was growing up.

The May 28 editorial, "Shuttle Diplomacy, Kerry Style," questions Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "commitment to a two-state solution," but surprisingly does not question West Bank chieftain Mahmoud Abbas' commitment to anything resembling peace.

For his part, Abbas not only refused to even respond to Olmert's offer back in 2008 to give him his Palestinian state in the equivalent of all the disputed territories, but has spurned negotiations ever since and has adamantly insisted he will never compromise one iota on any of the core issues.

Abbas' government blatantly violates almost all its solemn commitments under the failed Oslo agreements, indoctrinates schoolchildren with hatred, glorifies terrorism while honoring dead terrorists and paying salaries to live terrorists responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilians.

He makes their release from prison yet another precondition to negotiations while asserting he will never recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

In sharp contrast, Netanyahu has worked assiduously and relatively successfully to improve the lives of the Arabs living in the areas administered by the Palestinian Authority while continually trying to entice Abbas to return to the negotiating table.

In the absence of meaningful negotiations, nobody can know precisely how much Netanyahu would ultimately compromise, but both his words and his deeds provide evidence that he greatly desires peace with all of Israel's Arab neighbors, including the Palestinian Arabs.

On the other hand, Mahmoud Abbas' words and actions strongly suggest he has no interest in living in peace with Israel, at least under any circumstances which would not set the stage for the ultimate elimination of the only true democracy in the Middle East.

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