In its Jan. 1 editorial “Rash rhetoric,” The Post again offers a faulty analysis of the Palestinian situation. A few points require rebuttal.
First, the editorial downplayed the impact of illegal settlements and settler violence on the daily lives of Palestinians, as well as on the viability of the Palestinian state.
Second, the editorial claimed that in 2008 Palestinians “conceded” areas to Israel. No such thing happened. As is clear in the notes to the 2008 meeting linked to the online version of the editorial, we put forward propositions; we had not conceded anything, since nothing was agreed.
Finally, the editorial asserted that we Palestinians ought to negotiate while settlements continue to be built. How can we negotiate over land that is being usurped as we are negotiating? We can’t. The formula is and has always been land for peace; Israelis can’t have both.
Maen Rashid Areikat, Washington
The writer is chief representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s general delegation to the United States.
It is rare for a publication to side with the truth on the surreal topic of Israeli “settlements.” This time, The Post got it right and boldly defied the mainstream, pile-on mentality regarding Israeli construction of residential housing in Jerusalem.
I thank The Post for stating what is so obvious: Israel is acting well within its discretion, and the United Nations and the Palestine Liberation Organization are using the new construction as an excuse to avoid engaging in discussions about a lasting and real peace.
Charles Ruchelman, Silver Spring
The editorial equated the Palestinians’ initiative to seek statehood recognition from the United Nations with the Israeli government’s construction of ever more settlements in the West Bank, saying that both moves “complicate the negotiations that are the only realistic route to a Middle East peace.”
That is absurd. Settlement-building is clearly an obstacle to any two-state solution, because it deprives the Palestinians of more and more land and water resources for their already drastically reduced future state. It is also illegal under international law. Virtually every international entity (e.g., the United Nations) and government in the world opposes it. It is the continued theft of Palestinian land, period.
The Palestinians’ initiative to gain statehood recognition deprives no one — including Israel — of anything. It is a peaceful and internationally recognized attempt to gain what is rightfully theirs. It is also one of the very few means left to the Palestinians, given that 20-plus years of negotiations have done absolutely nothing for their cause.
Joanne Heisel, Columbia