Misleading Cartoon
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Misleading Cartoon

I was disappointed by your editorial cartoon by Steve Greenberg (Sept. 21) showing an angry President Trump with a saw in his hands, labeled “punitive actions,” which he used to saw the legs off of the Palestinian chair at a negotiating table. The balloon shows Trump saying to a visibly dejected Mahmoud Abbas, “Why won’t you come to the table?!”

Cartoons like this one, naive to the history and failed “cause and effect” of the past decade, would be expected in various mainstream publications with anti-Israel editorial leanings — I didn’t expect to see it in The Jewish Week.

Let’s get some facts clear. Abbas has refused to come to the negotiating table since 2010, despite tremendous pressure by President Obama on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to freeze settlements at the time to “facilitate” negotiations. Despite repeated invitations since, from Netanyahu, the U.S. and Europeans, Abbas has refused to enter direct negotiations without pre-conditions that were designed to be rejected as they could only be the outcome of negotiations. He has also made repeated threats to take Israel and its leaders to the International Criminal Court as a means of influencing (or more likely, avoiding) negotiations.

After Abbas has preemptively rejected Trump’s peace plan proposal, insulted the American administration, and continued in the face of the Taylor Force Act to financially reward terrorists for killing Israelis, Trump has taken various actions to significantly reduce aid to the PA. Perhaps against this background, Abbas has cut the legs off of his own chair.

Einstein supposedly defined insanity as the act of attempting the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. After decades of rewarding PA intransigence with bribery and getting little negotiation cooperation from PA leadership in return, the Trump administration has decided to honor the wisdom of Einstein’s notion and try a new negotiating tactic, using the stick instead of the failed carrot.

White Plains, N.Y.

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