Phil Horn is determined to prove that peace would come to Israel if only its current leaders weren’t so gosh-darned negative (“Failed negotiations nothing to celebrate,” June 12). In response, I would like to concentrate on just one of the many unsupportable claims that he makes: that the Palestinians offered to make the return of Palestinian refugees from previous wars subject to Israel’s approval. Of course, since Israel would be very unlikely to grant many approvals, this is tantamount to saying that the Palestinians offered to give up the “right of return.”
In fact, Mahmoud Abbas and every Palestinian spokesperson have repeatedly and clearly let everyone know that without the “right of return” there will be no peace. This has been repeated over and over and the Palestinian people have been assured that they will go back to Haifa, Jaffa, and all of mandatory Palestine. The supposed “secret offer” that Leslie Susser reported in the Jerusalem Report has been scuttling around in various forms since at least the First Intifada, but there has never been the slightest effort to prepare the Palestinian people for this event, let alone a public statement to this effect.
The rest of his article is equally breathtaking.
Sheldon R. Waxman