David Friedman, Donald Trump’s choice for U.S. ambassador to Israel, with the president-elect and Ivanka Trump, right, in 2010 in Camden, N.J. (Bradley C Bower/Bloomberg)

The Dec. 16 news article “Friend of settlements picked for envoy to Israel,” about the choice of David M. Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel, said, “For decades, most U.S. Jewish leaders have urged Israel to seek a peace agreement with the Palestinians that would establish a separate Arab state alongside Israel.”

The implication is that Israel rejects or hasn’t thought of a two-state solution. In 2000, the Palestinians were offered 97 percent of the West Bank with political rights in Jerusalem, and they walked away; ask former president Bill Clinton. In 2001, the talks in Taba, Egypt, failed. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip. In 2008, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Israel’s offer of a West Bank and Gaza state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Netanyahu government insists upon bilateral negotiations as stipulated in the 1993 Oslo Accords to end the conflict and lead to a Palestinian state. Mr. Abbas has refused to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for that purpose and has engaged in incitement to violence and attempts internationally to undermine the legitimacy of Israel.

The absence of a Palestinian state owes to the inability of the Palestinian leadership to accept the legitimacy and permanence of the state of Israel in the region, not to an absence of offers. 

Shoshana Bryen, Washington

The writer is senior director of
the Jewish Policy Center.

Being a friend of Israel doesn’t necessarily mean not agreeing with a position that may be detrimental to it. Encouraging increasing settlements in the West Bank and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem before a comprehensive negotiated agreement would ultimately serve Israel poorly. These moves push Israel closer to a one-state rather than a two-state solution that, by demographics, would mean the end of a Jewish state as we know it.

The right wing needs to understand that getting “more” in the short-term could mean getting considerably less in the long-term. 

Peter Dunner, Bethesda