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Reader comment on item: Middle East Debate: Should Washington Actively Promote an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Settlement?

Submitted by Lionel Gaffen (Israel), May 11, 2003 at 04:12

For the initial years after the Oslo Accords, I had hopes that the Palestinians would be able to go beyond their dream of destroying Israel- and that they would be willing to accept something that no other Arab state had ever offered them- a country of their own- on land that had already been given to the Jewish people ( the Sykes-Picot Treaty; I won't go into the historical discussion here, but it is a well known historical fact that the land we are discussing dividing was promised to the Jewish people in recent history, and not just ancient history).

I was wrong in believing that a terrorist like Arafat could ever be trusted to lead his people toward peace, and my country has suffered the consequences of believing in a failed leadership, and during the past 2 1/2 years, after Arafat declared a resumption of war against Israel, it has become obvious that diplomacy has failed ( Indyk's failed attempts, together with the entire Clinton administration, have only worsened the situation and prolonged the war ) and that Israel has had to, in effect, finally admit that we are at war with an enemy that seeks to eliminate us, and that we must act accordingly. In this case, it means vanquishing the enemy to the point where they no longer feel that it is in their interests to continue to wage war, and must look to peaceful means in order to further their interests. At that point, and only then, can diplomacy be effective in setting the parameters for both sides in a disengagement process. Daniel Pipes has been accurate in his analyses all along, while Indyk hasn't.

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