Letter: Palestinians Block Peace

Letter: Palestinians Block Peace

Eugen Schoenfeld is absolutely correct (“Dear Mr. Sanders: A Response on Israel,” April 8). Palestinian intransigence is the main obstacle to finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it is beyond shameful that the Palestinian leadership claims the Palestinian people have the right to “violently resist the occupation” when the leaders could have settled the matter diplomatically years ago.

The truth is that terrorist attacks on Israel did not begin in 1967. Arab terrorists were infiltrating Israel from Gaza and the West Bank even when those areas were illegally occupied by Egypt and Jordan from 1948 until the Six-Day War.

Yasser Arafat flatly rejected left-winger Ehud Barak’s proposal for a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and 97 percent of the West Bank, with shared governance in parts of Jerusalem (2000/2001). Mahmoud Abbas did the same when centrist Ehud Olmert made a slightly more generous offer (2008).

Evacuation of all Jewish communities from Gaza (2005), under the government of right-winger Ariel Sharon, did not result in the formation of a Palestinian state but led to thousands of rockets being lobbed at Israeli population centers and tunnels being dug under Israeli communities to facilitate the kidnapping and murder of Jews.

When Benyamin Netanyahu outlined a vision of a demilitarized Palestinian state living peaceably beside the nation-state of the Jews (2013), Abbas’ response was that he would never accept the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East. Abbas also stated that the signing of a peace treaty would not mark the end of the conflict and that he expected Israel to rehabilitate the third- and fourth-generation descendants of Arabs who fled the 1948 Arab-initiated war against Israel.

Clearly, peace will not come until the Palestinian leadership stops trying to destroy Israel and starts building a future for its people.

— Toby F. Block, Atlanta

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