In his June 13 op-ed column, “Solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict obvious, elusive,” S. Amjad Hussain acknowledges that Palestinians’ (and other Arabs’) denial of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish country is the primary obstacle to achieving peace in the region.
A casual observer might ask who cares whether the Arabs and Palestinians refuse to compromise about abstract issues such as Israel’s legitimacy. After all, Israel already exists.
The answer is revealed by flipping the question and asking why Arabs and Palestinians aren’t willing to compromise on this point. If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is only a territorial dispute, then agreeing to the recognition of Israel as a Jewish country isn’t giving the house away.
However, if the issue is really about ideology and religion — driven by an intolerant, racist strain of extremist Islam — and has nothing to do with compromises about territory, than the concept of land for peace will never work.
Incontrovertible evidence supports the position that the dispute is not primarily territorial. Since the 1948 re-establishment of Israel, long before “settlements” existed, Arab attempts to eliminate Israel and terrorize its citizens have continued unabated.
When Israel relinquished Gaza, the net result was more rocket attacks deeper into the heart of Israel. Last year, when Israel restricted building in the disputed territories for one year to facilitate negotiations, the Palestinian leadership refused to come to the table.
Israel turned down billions of dollars of additional U.S. aid in exchange for extending the building freeze, and asked only that the Palestinians should recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish country.
Sadly, and predictably, the Palestinians refused. Instead, the Palestinian leadership recently created a unity government by including Hamas, the religiously and ideologically driven Muslim extremist terrorist group, as a partner.
A declaration of recognition, in substance and not just form, is not forthcoming from the Palestinians because that would mean they would have to renounce violence as a means of “liberating Palestine.” It would mean that the incitement and hatred taught to Palestinian children would have to stop.
It would mean that Palestinians would have to give up their “right of return,” a transparent effort to remove Israel by ensuring the Jewish majority in Israel disappears.
Finally, it would mean that the corrupt Palestinian leadership would eventually lose its control of and power over the Palestinian people.
Until a Palestinian “Arab Spring” emerges, whereby Palestinians challenge the existing leadership, peace will remain elusive. Dr. Hussain’s call for Arab/Palestinian recognition of Israel is the obvious prerequisite to successful peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Chairman, Jewish Community Relations Committee United Jewish Council of Greater Toledo
Israel should not give up territory
Instead of focusing on Arabs’ refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist, Dr. Hussain suggests that the unreasonable party in the dispute is the prime minister of Israel.
Dr. Hussain’s lack of objectivity disqualifies him from being taken seriously. It is time for politically correct, left-wing people to recognize the historically obvious: When a country is attacked and war ensues, the disputed lands go to the militarily victorious, not the losers. Why should Israel be required to sacrifice its peace and security?
Dr. Hussain should spend time and energy talking some sense to Arabs about the Jews’ right to have a country, before Arabs continue demanding land from those they attacked in 1967, and are still attacking.
Sulphur Spring Road
Jobs? No, it’s about business climate
Your June 11 editorial “It’s the jobs, stupid” provides an example of the great divide between those who believe in our free enterprise system and those who do not. In your opinion, business should spend their cash to hire workers, who will have spending power and thus create demand, raise revenues, and help solve our economic problems.
You must be kidding. Do you believe businesses would pass up investing money to make more money?
The climate in Washington today is slanted to the “government can solve our problems” approach. Government spending is out of control. New laws and regulations are promulgated at an alarming rate.
Businesses do not know what is coming next, and will continue to hold cash until there is greater confidence that the future holds a friendly business climate.
Robert C. Wender
Religion not basis for U.S.’s founding
America has never been a Christian nation, contrary to the June 4 Readers’ Forum letter “Vote sticker issue pointless, by God”.
Our country was founded on freedom of and from religion, and a separation of church and state. In the 1796-97 treaty with Tripoli, our government affirmed that the United States is not founded on the Christian religion.
What makes our country so great is that we come from many cultural traditions — the so-called melting pot, which we learned about as children but seem to have forgotten as adults. We don’t privilege one group of people above another; we’re all Americans.
We encourage dissent, criticism, and new ways of thinking and being. We don’t treat those who disagree with us as inferior, second-class citizens, and we certainly don’t tell them to leave.
Palin’s grasp of history lacking
Do we not teach history or American literature in our schools any more? Where was Sarah Palin when her class learned about the American Revolution? Where was she when her English class read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” (“Twisting History: Palin isn’t alone in misfiring on America’s distant past,” June 12)?
Paul Revere did not ring any bells or shoot any guns. He simply notified other town leaders to pass on the message that the British were coming by sea, after two lanterns were hung in the Old North Church tower.
It’s scary when we know more than those who would be our leaders.
No comparing Palin and Weiner
I couldn’t believe that you could equate the words of Sarah Palin with the deeds of Anthony Weiner (“Little white lies,” editorial, June 9).
It’s obvious you are biased.
Mary Ann Donnelly
Weiner would be insulted
The recent spate of letter writers protesting Sarah Palin and U.S. Rep Anthony Weiner being linked in an editorial and political cartoon have a point.
If Mr. Weiner hears of this, there is a good chance he will be highly insulted.
Gas station attack evokes sympathy
I am saddened and outraged by the incident at the Secor Road Speedway gas station (“$1M bond set for driver in death at gas station,” June 14).
My sympathy goes out to the Randall York family. Here is a man who gets killed for trying to be a good Samaritan.
Despite thefts, she loves Toledo
My mother loves Toledo. She has lived in the same house for 65 1/2 years and refuses to let the criminals run her out.
After the third breaking-and-entering and theft of her lawn mower, she still believes Toledo is a good place to live.
I guess it is true that people who are 93½ years old lose the gift of good judgment.