In the title of Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “Rethinking, And Rejecting, The ‘Peace Process’” (April 30), he places the words “peace process” in quotation marks. I conclude that to Rosenblatt, the “peace process” is a sham, can never achieve peace and therefore should be set aside. What replaces it? For the answer to that he quotes a Los Angeles journalist/creative advertising professional whose recommends that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “skip the concessions and put a final peace plan on the table.” That plan would have Israel hold on to the large Jewish communities of the West Bank, the Palestinians give up their claim to the right of return and the two parties share Jerusalem. If Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signs on, fine, and the conflict is over. If he doesn’t respond in 60 days, the deal is off.
Such an offer, really an ultimatum, with three significant preconditions, is something that the Palestinians would be within their rights to reject. And that rejection fits in very nicely to Rosenblatt’s narrative of Palestinian rejection of past Israeli proposals. For him, the bottom line is that President Barack Obama is dead wrong in believing that Israel has anything to do with the failure of the peace process. In fact he wants the administration to come to the recognition “that it is the Palestinians who are the stumbling block.” Never mind that it is Israel who is the occupying power on the West Bank and is pursuing a policy of holding on to all of Jerusalem, including Arab east Jerusalem.
To support his argument, Rosenblatt quotes from Aaron David Miller’s article in Foreign Policy, “The False Religion of Mideast Peace.” But the peace process is not an article of faith. It is absolutely necessary for the survival of Israel as a democratic, Jewish state.
Rosenblatt is right that building peace is “a slow and arduous process.” But it would be disaster for Israel to give up on it.
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