Arguing that there is nothing the U.S. can do to get the other major powers to stop Iran, Edith Everett (Opinion, April 17) asks: “If President Obama could not demand of Israel, our closest and most dependent ally, a cessation of settlement building, a relatively simple request, can he make demands on China and Russia, our generally unreliable negotiating partners?”
But President Obama did demand that of Israel — and Israel acquiesced. Ms. Everett seems to have forgotten that, in response to President Obama’s request, Prime Minister Netanyahu froze all Jewish housing construction in the territories for 10 months, from November 2009 through September 2010. In fact, according to Gary Rosenblatt (“Between the Lines,” April 10): “Although he gets little or no credit for it from the White House, he continues his quiet policy of suspending settlement growth outside of Jerusalem …”
Neither the housing freeze nor Prime Minister Netanyahu’s other concessions — such as releasing terrorists and offering to create a demilitarized Palestinian state — succeeded in getting the Palestinian Authority back to the negotiating table. And the concessions are not even acknowledged by the Obama administration or leaders of the Jewish left (such as Edith Everett). No wonder so many Israelis have concluded that the old approach of one-sided Israeli concessions was a failure, and a new approach is needed.
Religious Zionists of Philadelphia