The following letter was published in the Feb. 2, 2009 Baltimore Sun:
The Baltimore Sun’s editorial “Listening post” (Jan. 28) claims that “the underlying issues of the conflict — terrorism, settlements, Jerusalem’s future — remain obstacles to a negotiated resolution and two secure states coexisting in peace.”
At Camp David in 2000 and at Taba in 2001, Palestinian leadership rejected Israeli-U.S. offers of a West Bank and Gaza Strip state, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, in exchange for peace. Instead of negotiating these offers, they pursued the terror war known as the second intifada.
Perhaps “terrorism, settlements and Jerusalem’s future” are not so much “obstacles to a negotiated resolution” as symptoms of the obstacle.
Perhaps Palestinian leadership has not pursued offers to negotiate “two secure states coexisting in peace” because that is not its objective.
Rather, the underlying issue — as has been declared by Hamas and finessed but not expunged by Fatah — may be rejection of permanent peace with Israel as a Jewish state.
The writer is Washington director for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.