On the face of it, Tom Friedman's call on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to show imagination and initiative at a time of change in the region makes much sense ("Lessons from Tahrir Sq.," May 25). If change is afoot, "get with it" is the logic.
Where Mr. Friedman goes wrong is in his comparing Palestinian steadfastness to that of Arab dictators. In the latter cases, it took an uprising of the people to upend corrupt authoritarian rulers. In the case of the Palestinians, there is little evidence of a gap between leaders and citizens in their rejection of the legitimacy of a Jewish state. So there will be no pressure from below to change.
That is why it was so relevant for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stress before Congress that the key change that has to occur, the one that can open the door to great change on both sides, is for the Palestinians to announce they have accepted the Jewish State of Israel. That single step would do more to change the dynamic in the conflict than all the speeches, editorials, and U.N. resolutions combined.
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