While the “Saudi Peace Initiative” has been tweaked in recent years, it remains a call for Israel to make concrete concessions (withdrawing from land of historic, religious and strategic importance) in return for a promise (“full” normalization between Arab nations and Israel) on which the Saudis might be unable to deliver (“Saudis, Israel Cooperate in Regional Chess Match,” Jan. 12). So the offer is, at best, a baby step above the Palestinian mantra that says Israel needs to compromise but the Palestinians don’t.
It’s time for the Arab nations, especially those, such as Saudi Arabia, that seek Israel’s help in facing the Iranian threat, to take actions that will help untie the Gordian knot that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
For instance, Muslim countries could rescind their laws barring Palestinians from citizenship and limiting the professions they may pursue. This would give Palestinians who don’t want to be in the minority in a Jewish country, but also don’t want to live under corrupt Palestinian governance, the opportunity to escape the refugee limbo to which their rulers have condemned them.
Oil-rich Arab countries could also contribute to efforts to build the Palestinian economy. This would require careful monitoring so that the funds are actually used to improve the people’s living conditions and are not siphoned off into efforts to delegitimize and destroy Israel. The Arab donors would need to cease their own spewing of anti-Jewish invective and pressure the Palestinian leaders to prepare the “refugees” to become citizens of a Palestinian state willing to coexist with the nation-state of the Jews.
— Toby F. Block, Atlanta