Gary Rosenblatt contends that “neither [Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu nor Palestinian Authority President Abbas] is inclined to make a move” toward peace talks, “each for his own reasons. So the status quo prevails” (“The Sorry State Of The Two-State Solution,” April 22).
Not quite. The Netanyahu government has been offering peace talks since it arrived in office in 2009. In contrast, Abbas’ Palestinian Authority — but for two meetings in a single week in 2010 — has refused talks for the last seven years.
PA or Israeli fear of making a “move” on Palestinian statehood is not the issue: Palestinian refusal to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state existing alongside a Palestinian one is the heart of the problem, as reflected in Palestinian polling.
A June 2015 Palestine Center for Public Opinion poll, for example, found that 49 percent of Palestinians seek a state in place of Israel, while only 29 percent seek one alongside Israel –– and even many of those who seek a neighboring state do not accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state: 88 percent of Palestinians say Jews have no rights to the land at all.
The assertion that the Israeli government is “afraid” to move on peace reflects the tendency to cling to the talisman of creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and holds Israel responsible for this not occurring, irrespective of the conditions on the Palestinian side. As polls show, it is a matter of Palestinian conviction, not fear, that prevents a peace settlement.
National President Zionist Organization of America