Letter to the editor:
Contrary to what was said in USA TODAY’s editorial, Israel’s plans to build in the 4 square miles between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim would not “separate East Jerusalem … from the rest of the West Bank.” Access still would be available through Arab neighborhoods.
The editorial alleges Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “failed to follow through” on negotiations begun by predecessorEhud Olmert. Mahmoud Abbas rejected Olmert’s 2008 offer of a West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem Palestine. What “drove Abbas to the U.N.” was his intention to circumvent Palestinian commitments under the Oslo accords with Israel.
The editorial charges that since 2009, Netanyahu has significantly worsened peace prospects.Netanyahu was the sixth consecutive Israeli prime minister to endorse a “two-state solution.” He imposed a 10-month construction freeze in existing settlements. In the 10th month, Abbas rejected unconditional negotiations. Palestinian voters chose Hamas to lead them in 2006 elections.
Recognizing the Jewish people’s historical ties to the land west of the Jordan River, the League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate encouraged “close Jewish settlement.” The U.N. Charter incorporates the mandate’s provisions.
Eric Rozenman;Washington director, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting; in America, Washington, D.C.