Sunday, September 18, 2011


Friday’s Houston Chronicle had a long editorial calling on the Palestinians not to go through with this week’s expected bid for UN recognition as an independent state. Instead the Chronicle’s editors suggest that the Israelis and Palestinians agree to a peace based on the 1993 Oslo Accords. The editorial was highly critical of Israel’s settlement policy and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ‘tone of bellicosity.’ It was less critical of PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas.

I don’t know whether they will publish it or not, but I sent the following letter to the Chronicle’s viewpoints section:

Your editorial ‘Remember Oslo?’ (9-16-11) sounds great, but it ignores the fact that what the Palestinians really want is a ‘final solution’ of a Judenrein state replacing Israel, not a Palestinian state living side-by-side with a Jewish state.

Time after time Israel has offered concessions to the Palestinians in an effort to strike a peace deal only to be rebuffed by the PLO leadership. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have never offered any concessions to the Israelis.

The Oslo Accords is a good example. Despite the photo-op handshake in front of a beaming President Clinton between Rabin and Arafat, a disingenuous Yasser Arafat never really had any intention of making peace with Israel.

The only difference between the ‘moderate’ Mahmoud Abbas and the ‘radical’ Hamas is that Abbas sounds conciliatory when speaking to the international community in English, but when he speaks to the Arab street in Arabic, he has made it crystal clear that “There will be only one state, a Palestinian state from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.” That is exactly the same position Hamas takes when it calls for the extermination of the Jewish state.

Your editorial calls on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but Abbas has also declared that the Palestinians will never recognize a Jewish state.

The Israeli settlements that you criticize were built to provide a defensive buffer zone against any future Arab attacks. A peace based on the pre-1967 borders would be suicidal for the State of Israel. That border is indefensible – at some points Israel is less than nine miles wide.

The PLO leadership sees any peace agreement as a mere stepping stone to the eventual extermination of the Jewish state. So why should any Israeli leader make any concessions to a group that is determined to wipe Israel off the global map?

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