Path to Mideast Peace

The New York Times

Robert Elman

November 9, 2012

To the Editor:

Contrary to your assertion in “Palestinians at the U.N., Again” (editorial, Nov. 5), the Palestinians do have more than one “diplomatic card.” The one they should play now is returning to the direct talks with Israel that the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, abandoned four years ago. That’s the only path to sustainable peace.

Continuing to ignore the democratically elected Israeli government or trying another United Nations end run for Palestinian statehood will not move the peace process forward.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has offered direct talks beginning immediately. He has endorsed a two-state accord with the Palestinians. Yet the Palestinian Authority has been missing in action, preferring to layer one condition after another on reviving talks, while sending mixed messages about its own commitment to peace with Israel.

The editorial inexplicably does not assess the Palestinian Authority any responsibility for the current impasse. And it also does not mention another stumbling block. How can a two-state deal be achieved when the Palestinian Authority has no authority in Gaza, from which it was ousted by Hamas in 2007?

Israel does not need lectures about the necessity of peace. Rather, it requires forward-looking partners for peace. When they emerge, as was the case with President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt and King Hussein of Jordan, peace not only becomes possible, but also inevitable.

ROBERT ELMAN
President
American Jewish Committee
New York, Nov. 5, 2012
Copyright 2013/2014 AJC