Home Media Mentions What Choosing a Pro-settlements Ambassador Means

What Choosing a Pro-settlements Ambassador Means

Letters to the Editor

Shoshana Bryen
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The Dec. 16 news article “Friend of settlements picked for envoy to Israel,” about the choice of David M. Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel, said, “For decades, most U.S. Jewish leaders have urged Israel to seek a peace agreement with the Palestinians that would establish a separate Arab state alongside Israel.”

The implication is that Israel rejects or hasn’t thought of a two-state solution. In 2000, the Palestinians were offered 97 percent of the West Bank with political rights in Jerusalem, and they walked away; ask former president Bill Clinton. In 2001, the talks in Taba, Egypt, failed. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip. In 2008, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Israel’s offer of a West Bank and Gaza state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Netanyahu government insists upon bilateral negotiations as stipulated in the 1993 Oslo Accords to end the conflict and lead to a Palestinian state. Mr. Abbas has refused to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for that purpose and has engaged in incitement to violence and attempts internationally to undermine the legitimacy of Israel.

The absence of a Palestinian state owes to the inability of the Palestinian leadership to accept the legitimacy and permanence of the state of Israel in the region, not to an absence of offers.