Is­rael can’t make the Palestinians want peace

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Sean Durns, Sil­ver Spring The writer is a re­search an­a­lyst for the Com­mit­tee for Ac­cu­racy in Mid­dle East Re­port­ing.

Com­men­ta­tor Richard Gross blames the lack of a peace­ful “two-state so­lu­tion” to the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict solely on Is­rael and its cur­rent prime min­is­ter, Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu, say­ing the U.S. should have used a re­cent aid pack­age as lever­age to achieve that goal (“Is­rael aid de­rails po­ten­tial for peace,” Sept. 19).

Mr. Gross, how­ever, fails to men­tion that it was the lead­er­ship of the Pales­tinian Author­ity that re­jected U.S. and Is­raeli of­fers of state­hood in ex­change for peace at Camp David in 2000, at Taba in 2001 and af­ter the An­napo­lis Con­fer­ence in 2008.

In May the PA re­jected U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry’s pro­posed 2014 “road map” to restart ne­go­ti­a­tions, as it had sim­i­larly spurned a peace at­tempt by Vice Pres­i­dent Joseph Bi­den in March.

In May Mr. Ne­tanyahu again said he was will­ing to meet PA Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas “to­day in Jerusalem. If he’d like, in Ra­mal­lah. Right now. To­day.” Ab­bas re­jected that of­fer and has con­tin­ued to in­cite anti-Jewish vi­o­lence.

Yet Mr. Gross — who has not a word to say about Pales­tinian re­jec­tion­ism and in­cite­ment — claims that Mr. Ne­tanyahu has “mouthed plat­i­tudes about mak­ing peace with­out any fol­low-through.”

The same day that Mr. Gross’ com­men­tary was pub­lished, Mr. Ab­bas lauded a ter­ror­ist who was killed while try­ing to stab Is­raeli po­lice, call­ing him “a mar­tyr who wa­tered the pure earth of Pales­tine with his blood.”

Solely blam­ing Is­rael may sound good to Mr. Gross, but fac­tu­ally speak­ing that’s about it.

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