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How Palestinians can find peace

Regarding Jackson Diehl’s Aug. 15 op-ed column, “Is a third intifada afoot?”:

It was disappointing that, instead of offering a genuine analysis of whether Palestine is justified in seeking recognition from the United Nations, Mr. Diehl chose to perpetuate a narrative that is all too common in this country: that any violence that occurs in Israel or the Palestinian territories is the fault of Palestinians and that Palestinians create the biggest obstacles to peace.

The Palestinian move to seek membership status at the United Nations constitutes yet another peaceful attempt by Palestinians to resist and end the illegal 44-year occupation of their land. They are not asking for anything extraordinary. They are asking for a state. It is something the United Nations has already supported in resolutions 181 and 242. It is something that the United States has supported since the George W. Bush administration.

Natalia Cuadra-Saez, Rockville

The writer was president of the University of Maryland Students for Justice in Palestine from 2010 to 2011.

●Jackson Diehl was right on the mark when he pointed out that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s plan to seek Palestinian statehood through the United Nations “is likely to produce nothing tangible for average Palestinians, other than the loss of their jobs.”

World leaders should tell Mr. Abbas that the question of Palestinian statehood was resolved long ago, with the 1947 U.N. partition plan. However, six Arab armies invaded the newly formed state of Israel, in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to destroy it. It is ironic — and regrettable — that Palestinians seek statehood now via a path they rejected then.

The challenge today is achieving independence in a way that produces a genuine Palestinian state with lasting peace and security. The only way Mr. Abbas can attain that is through serious negotiations with Israelis, not with votes in the United Nations or demonstrations in the West Bank.

World leaders should also advise Mr. Abbas to bring his own peace plan to the negotiating table.

Brad Sherman, Washington

The writer, a Democratic representative from California, is a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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