While the first three paragraphs of the JT’s editorial “Empty Gestures” (Jan. 9) factually outline the current situation between the Palestinians and Israel, the next paragraphs, where you imply the moral equivalency of Israel and her enemies, is unconscionable: “Israel and the Palestinians continue to make accusatory statements against one another and alternately take steps that each knows hurts the other but are unlikely to last.” I don’t think so. The truth is, the Palestinians act and Israel reacts. The unfortunate part of this is that Israel never seems to react long enough, hard enough or significantly enough. You said that while “… the two sides are talking — even if not with each other — they are less likely to be fighting with one another on the battlefield.” Really? The last time I looked, the Palestinians, like the proverbial “Elvis” had left the building, er, table, and I don’t recall a time when talking “not with each other” prevented the Palestinians from
attacking and killing Jews in general and Israelis in particular.
Further, your comment that “neither Israel nor the Palestinians seem to have leadership capable of working out a peace deal” is patently ridiculous. Yes, President Mahmoud Abbas (just starting the 11th year of a four-year term) is a weak and ineffectual leader. But therein lies the problem, not in Israel’s lack of leadership. The Palestinians could have had their own country and Israel could have had the peace and security she so desperately wants and needs years ago had the Palestinians only given up their dream of eliminating Israel — not just from the atlases of Harcourt Brace but from her very existence — and implementing the dream of a Palestinian state from the Jordon to the Mediterranean Sea. If freedom-loving, democratic people have not learned by now that peace comes through strength and the will to use it, then woe be unto us. Woe will not be unto Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because he has learned that lesson and learned it well. His leadership has remained strong, and it is that which has kept Israel strong.
Finally, your statement that the Palestinian Authority works constructively with Israel is laughable. Yes, its security forces work closely with Israel’s but only out of its own self-interest. But what have they done for us lately? Have they made any attempt to stop teaching their children of hatred for and murder of Jews? To worry about what would happen if the corrupt, intransigent, anti-Israel P.A. should collapse is foolhardy; in this case, the known is not better than the unknown.
It’s time for the Palestinian Auth-ority to collapse and hopefully bring forth a representative entity that will recognize the reality of Israel and negotiate a peace with her that provides the security she needs and deserves while doing it from the perspective of representing the best interests of the Palestinian people. Why? Because peace with Israel is in the best interests of the Palestinian people. It’s not Israel that’s ratcheting up the levels of confrontation. She just reacts to the confrontational acts of the Palestinians, which she rightfully must do.