Sir, – PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s words (“Abbas: After 63 years of an ongoing
‘Nakba,’ it is time for the Palestinians to gain their independence,” September
25) are a case study in the manipulation of reality.
He focused on the
His problem is that it is occupied by Israel. He fails to
explain that this is the result of a conspiracy among Egypt, Syria and Jordan to
annihilate the world’s lone Jewish state. As it happens, Israel defeated the
three aggressors in 1967, moving its border from the 1949 armistice line to the
Before that, the West Bank had been annexed by the Kingdom
of Jordan. In all those years no one asked that there be a Palestinian state.
The fact is, there never was one in all of human history.CHAYIM SEIDEN
Sir, – It is revealing to consider the probity of Mahmoud
It is clear from his PhD thesis.
In it, he described the
Holocaust as “the Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were
In his speech to the UN, Abbas referred a number of times to the
Nakba, the “catastrophe,” the flight of Arabs from Israel at the time of the War
of Independence. It is instructive to recall what actually happened: When the
British Mandate forces left, five Arab armies – those of Egypt, Syria,
Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq – invaded.
“This will be a war of
extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the
Mongolian massacres and the Crusades,” declared Azzam Pasha, secretary-general
of the Arab League. The five Arab armies lost. Israel won.
Abbas also has
made two telling statements: 1. “A Jewish state, what is that supposed to mean?
You can call yourselves as you like, but I don’t accept it and I say so
publicly” (April 27, 2009).
2. “I will never allow a single Israeli to
live among us on Palestinian land” (July 29, 2010).
I believe these
comments show the true character of Abbas and the Palestinians. If they are
granted statehood, will they live in peace alongside Israel?
Sir, – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has turned from being
an ineffective leader into a very dangerous leader. By building up false hopes
for a Palestinian state based on UN declarations rather than face-to-face
negotiations with Israel, he is setting the groundwork for violence that will be
very difficult to rein in once the Palestinians see their resolution
Frustration leads to anger and anger leads to irrational behavior,
and when you add the influence of radical forces you have the potential for
bloodshed and extremism. Nobody is a real winner until a satisfactory solution
is found and leaders on both sides are prepared to make the concessions needed
for a lasting peace.
Sir, – Imagine if the UN speech
by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (“‘Recognize the Jewish state and make
peace with us,’ Netanyahu calls on Abbas,” September 25) had been that Israel
would immediately support, based on the 1967 lines (with future land swaps),
Palestine’s request for full UN membership, and would encourage the Security
Council to vote yes.
Such an earth-shaking, openhearted gesture would
have stunned the Palestinian public, the PA, the anti-Israel extremists, the
wider Arab and Muslim “streets,” Western intellectuals and governments, and the
Why not do it? It’s not too late for Netanyahu to announce
that Abbas’s speech changed his mind. Israel’s Foreign Ministry could even work
with Palestinian diplomats to lobby wavering nations to vote yes.
tangible peace and security, a turn-around for Israel’s isolation and a
two-state solution are so much in Israel’s interest, why not? Consider how much
this Sadat-like tsunami would reverberate, and how this 180- degree turnaround
would jumpstart high-morale and high-momentum peace talks.
How could it
hurt Israel even a single iota? I’d like someone to show, on a pro-and-con chart
with a column for each, a single item to place in the “con” column, and then
compare it with the full “pro” column.
It’s a no-brainer and has been
since the beginning. What is stunning is Israel’s lack of imagination and
If Netanyahu really wanted forward movement and had
a single Sadat-like bone in his body, he could transform everything completely
in a single moment.
Sir, – Since
early 2002, the Quartet of the US, EU, Russia and the UN has called on Israel
and the Palestinians “to move toward a political resolution of their disputes
based on UNSCR 242 and 338, and the principle of land for peace... two states,
Israel and Palestine, living sideby- side within secure and recognized
It demanded that the Palestinians “stop terror attacks against
innocent Israelis” and for Israelis to implement previous agreements, “including
an end to all settlement activity.”
Meeting up to 10 times a year, the
Quartet has issued statement after statement, with virtually no movement toward
resolution. On September 23, it proposed that Israelis and Palestinians meet
within one month, produce comprehensive plans on territory and security within
three months, demonstrate substantial progress in negotiations within six
months, and conclude negotiations by the end of 2012 (“Israel welcomes, PA
rejects Quartet’s proposal,” September 25). Another vacuous, unenforceable
If the Quartet were serious, its members would halt all
funding to both Israelis and Palestinians until negotiations produced genuine
results. It would make future funding contingent on demonstrable, measurable
progress in negotiations and their governments’ affirmations and implementation
It must change the rules of the game because the current
rules produce only childish accusations from all sides and zero movement toward
Out of self-interest and genuine fear, both President Abbas
and Prime Minister Netanyahu lack the ability to stand up to their people and
make the significant concessions that are required. It’s time the Quartet makes
a difference – or goes out of business.
Sir, – You report that following Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech at the
UN, MK Danny Danon spoke in his support, saying the prime minister “reminded
Obama who the State of Israel is and what our connection with the US means”
(“Kadima, Labor call for action, not speeches from Netanyahu,” September
In his dreams. The reality is different.
Danon, of course, is
a Likud MK, although sometimes he keeps it well hidden and when the deed is done
pretends to come out fighting. By defending Netanyahu he has accepted the
two-state solution, which is absolutely not meant to be on a Likud
His reply should have been along the lines of that of MK Arye
Eldad (National Union), who accused the prime minister of being “submissive” in
his speech, adding that “Netanyahu missed a rare opportunity to cancel the Oslo
Accords and annex Judea and Samaria” and “did not raise our demand for the Land
of Israel when faced with Palestinian demands, and that is why we do not have
the world’s support.”
Netanyahu is living an illusion, just like the
opposition he condemns.
It’s a sad reminder of weak