Letter to the Editor: Toby F. Block
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Letter to the Editor: Toby F. Block

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Paul Root Wolpe says he supports brokering dialogue and providing a safe place for exchanging ideas. But he then proceeds to tell us that the fundamental issue in the Israel-Palestinian conflict is providing justice for the Palestinians and “truly equal treatment” of Israel’s Arab citizens. He concludes by saying that Israel has a long way to go. As I read his words, I was reminded of Benjamin Netanyahu’s explanation of why all of Israel’s peace proposals had been rejected by Palestinian leaders. Netanyahu said that, in the minds of the Palestinian leaders, “give and take” means that Israel gives, and the Palestinians take.

Urging Israel to make more concessions is not going to solve the conflict. It is long past time for the Palestinian leaders to begin living up to their responsibilities as outlined in the Oslo Accords, which envisioned the completion of Final Status negotiations by the year 2000. The goal: the establishment of a Palestinian state co-existing with the world’s only Jewish state, with each having recognized and secure borders set by mutual agreement.

Not only have Palestinian leaders rejected several offers that should have led to the establishment of the state they claim to want, but the leaders have also taught the people living under their administration to hate Jews and have incited them to kill Israelis, honoring and rewarding those who answer the call. The leaders have condemned and punished those Palestinians who have dared to seek peace with Israel.

This behavior has also had an effect on Arabs living in Israel who feared that, if Israel’s enemies would ever succeed in winning a war against Israel (or forcing Israel to take in the “Palestine refugees”), Arabs who had taken citizenship or even permanent residency status in Israel would be treated as “collaborators,” subject to imprisonment or even death.

Toby F. Block, Atlanta

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