Wednesday, 7 May 2014

“Israel must seize chance for peace”

Letter to the South China Morning Post:

The headline in your Leader of 5th May surely has it upside-down (“Israel must seize chance for peace”, 5 May).  A more logical headline would have been: “Palestinians must meet  preconditions”.

You say "Israel is letting a golden chance to make peace with Palestinians slip by with its refusal to negotiate with a unified government".

But in your final paragraph you note: “... a unified Palestinian government has to first meet three conditions set eight years ago: recognition of Israel; a renunciation of violence; and acceptance of previous deals struck between the PLO and Israel. If the PLO and Hamas can alter their positions, there is no reason why Netanyahu should not also be forward-looking."

Indeed.  But that is a very big “ IF”.  And these pre-conditions are surely more fundamental and rather more important than Israel’s failure to release Palestinian prisoners.  

Moreover, you make no mention of the fact that the Hamas Charter — now part of the “unified government" — still includes vile anti-semitic statements such as that all Jews, anywhere in the world, should be sought out and murdered. Article 7: “...Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!"

How can Israel “seize the chance” with those who openly wish to murder them?