Obstacles to peace
Vic Alhadeff (Letters, January 3-4) makes two statements that he must know to be false. First, he says that past Israeli prime ministers “including the incumbent, declared themselves in favour of two states”. However, The Times of Israel (July 13, 2014) reported that in early July “the prime minister ruled out full Palestinian sovereignty … This was not a new, dramatic change of stance by the prime minister. It was a new, dramatic exposition of his long-held stance”. As Mr Alhadeff must know, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party has never accepted a Palestinian state. Its electoral partner, Yisrael Beitenu, likewise categorically rejects an independent Palestinian state. The Likud charter includes the following explicit statements: (a) “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.” (b) “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel.” (c) “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”
Second, Mr Alhadeff says “a Palestinian state will happen” when the Palestinian leadership declares itself in favour of two states for two peoples. As he must also know, in 1988 on behalf of the PLO, Yasser Arafat made exactly such a declaration: “We accept two states, the Palestine state and the Jewish state of Israel”, reported in the New York Times, December 8.
Mr Alhadeff’s misrepresentations reveal a great deal about obstacles facing a just solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.
Peter Slezak, Independent Australian Jewish Voices, Bellevue Hill