In his op-ed piece “Mr. Prime Minister, why are you waiting” (May 12), Larry Lerner castigates Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for refusing to enter meaningful negotiations with the Palestinian Authority both before and after the P.A. joined with Hamas. Lerner also takes Netanyahu to task for not coming forward with a comprehensive peace plan of his own.
Where is the P.A.’s comprehensive peace plan? When has the P.A. offered anything but rejections to any of the plans presented by the UN, Israel, the United States at Camp David, Taba, or even the offer by former Prime Minister Olmert in 2007? Lerner fails to acknowledge it was the P.A. that refused entering into negotiations unless Israel agreed to their pre-conditions — while Netanyahu stated many times his willingness to negotiate without preconditions.
According to Lerner, most of the issues involving a comprehensive peace plan have already been decided. Maybe I missed it but when did Abbas give up the right of return? The P.A. still demands that the four to five million Arabs — allegedly the children and grandchildren of the 600 to 700 thousand Arabs who left in 1948 — are entitled to return to what is now Israel. The return of millions of Arabs into Israel would be the end of Israel as a Jewish state and could not be agreed to by any Israeli government. By continuing to demand the right of return, Abbas shows his intent is the same as his new partner Hamas, namely the destruction of the state of Israel. Abbas knows he cannot get what he wants from Israel, so he is going to the UN. It is unfortunate that many see only Israel as the cause and solution to the Palestinian problem.