To the Editor:
Here you go again, taking the one dimensional, inaccurate and counterproductive path of blaming Israel for the absence of progress to peace ("Politics Over Peace," Nov. 13).
It is inaccurate because the Palestinians were the ones who procrastinated for months after Israel instituted the moratorium on settlements knowing full well that time was of the essence. It is inaccurate because the Palestinians know that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent domestic political capital to get the moratorium in the first place, has clearly and publicly maintained his willingness to continue the process and has engaged in countless hours of discussions with the U.S. to find the formula that will lead to resumption of the direct talks.
At the same time, blaming Israel will set back chances for progress toward peace rather than push them forward. Israelis under the gun and unjustly blamed will be less likely to make future concessions. And Palestinians, who for decades have either refused to accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state or to negotiate in good faith toward a compromise agreement, will have less incentive to do so. After all, they will reason, if the blame falls on Israel and its isolation seems possible, why even consider making the necessary changes that we never wanted to make.
Responsibility for peacemaking lies on both sides, but your reflexive "blame Israel" syndrome simply makes things more difficult.
The Anti-Defamation League