To the Editor:
Re "Mr. Obama and Israel" (editorial, March 27):
One doesn't have to agree with every action and policy of the government of Israel to recognize that the fundamental problems that have surfaced are far more a product of Palestinian rejectionism and extremism than alleged Israeli intransigence.
It is the Palestinians, not Israel, who have refused to return to negotiations. Unfortunately, the Obama administration gave the Palestinians an excuse not to come to the table by making settlements the central issue. In fact, over the years there have been negotiations despite the settlement issue. Had the Palestinians accepted Israel's generous offers under two prime ministers for a Palestinian state, the issue of settlements would have been resolved.
The Obama administration has gone off track not only in its excessive focus on settlements and its overreaction to Israel's faux pas in announcing new construction while the vice president was in Israel, but also by suggesting that Israel is harming American interests in the region. This is a misguided and counterproductive view.
Ultimately, America's interests in the region will rise or fall on its willingness to support its true friends there and its ability to distinguish between moderates who want peace and rejectionists who want to undermine it. There is no doubt that Israel is a true ally and peacemaker.
Abraham H. Foxman