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Reader comment on item: Why Oslo's Hopes Turned to Dust

Submitted by Patrick Friel (United States), Sep 25, 2003 at 14:35

I must say I share many of Mr. Pipes views on the Palestinians. However, it is a pity he chooses to view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a bipolar issue: the Palestinians are wrong and the Israelis are right (in his view, when Israel is most hawkish) vs. the Israelis are wrong and the Palestinians are right.

The years since "Oslo" have seen the massive expansion of Jewish settlements regardless of the ebb and flow of Israeli and Palestinian public opinions about peace processes, the presence or absence of Palestinian terrorism, and opinions about the sincerity of leaders on both sides. This activity is based not on security concerns or the need to "impress on the Palestinians the hopelessness of their cause" but the Zionist fantasy that the land (and not the non-Jews who live on it) belongs to Greater Israel.

This is a legitimate threat to even the most dovish, westernized Palestinian that can be imagined and an issue that destroys Israel's credibility as a good-faith negotiating partner. Palestinian murder of civilians and Jewish land kleptomania are both not only immoral, unacceptable and major obstacles to peace but fuel for further conflict.

(For those shouting "moral equivelance," I do not see terrorism and settlements as equally evil. Just because murder is worse than armed robbery does not make armed robbery acceptable.)

If Israel needs to occupy the West Bank and Gaza for another 50 or 100 years, build a wall, and cut off Palestinians from the Israeli economy to protect its citizens from terrorism then so be it. However, the only Israelis in those territories should be active duty IDF and intelligence service personnel, not settlers who do nothing but demonstrate Israels' tolerance of/support for its own irredentists.

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