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The Palestinians' Obligations

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Your March 31 editorial "Israel's New Government" talked a lot about what the Israelis must do to continue to have support from the United States. What I found lacking was a discussion of what the Palestinians must do to have acceptance by Israel and the United States for a two-state solution. If peace is to come in that troubled region, both the Palestinians and the Israelis have to make concessions and bear responsibilities. Pressure should not be put just on Israel alone, as the editorial attempted to do.

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For a two-state solution to become a reality, Palestinians in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip must recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. They must also renounce terrorism and understand that they cannot use terrorism as a negotiating tool to achieve their state. The Palestinians must also agree to abide by all previous agreements signed by their leadership. These are simple things and prerequisites for Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank to accept for there to be a peaceful, two-state solution. Since the war in Gaza has ended, Palestinians continue to bombard Israel with missiles threatening Israeli civilians. This must stop if the conflict is going to be resolved.

Peace will come to that region of the world when both sides recognize each other's right to exist in peace and security. It will not come from pressuring Israel to make unilateral concessions in return for worthless promises or worthless pieces of paper.

ELIOT L. ENGEL

U.S. Representative (D-N.Y.)

Washington

The writer is a member of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.


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