In his call for unilateral initiative by Israel for the negotiation toward settling the current problems with the Palestinians {op-ed, Feb. 12}, Zbigniew Brzezinski recognizes that such an initiative must be made "conditional on a rational and reciprocal Palestinian response, including the termination of civil disobedience and riots, as well as good faith acceptance of some transitional arrangement."

Mr. Brzezinski neglected to propose, however, what Israel can do in the almost certain absence of such response. Without this response, Mr. Brzezinski's proposals are but empty words. Look back to Golda Meir's pleas to the Palestinians to sit down and talk with Israel; all were rebuffed. Look at the long history of threats and assassinations of any Arab who had the temerity to even suggest the possibility of any accommodation toward peace with Israel. Yasser Arafat has hinted several times his willingness to enter into discussions, but has always drawn back under the threats of more militant PLO leaders. Jordan's King Hussein has at times appeared ready to do so, but he clearly fears sharing the fate of Anwar Sadat.

It would be wonderful if a fruitful peace initiative by Israel, as proposed by Mr. Brzezinski, could be effected. Perhaps Mr. Brzezinski will put some further thought into the matter and suggest how he can persuade the Palestinians to accept the "musts" that he outlined. If successful, he'd certainly be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


Silver Spring