Thursday, January 11, 2007


Dennis Ross criticized Jimmy Carter's book and two persons saw fit to attack him.

If you'll notice, they reach sublime heights of chutzpah, attempting to contradict facts and events that Ross was present at their happening and was a first-person witness, and yet the "paper of record" thinks that they know more about what happended than the person who was there.

To the Editor:

Re “Don’t Play With Maps” (Op-Ed, Jan. 9):

Dennis Ross rightly lambastes the mythologizing that has persistently impaired the Middle East peace process. But the idea that the Palestinians have refused to “accept and adjust to reality” is itself a myth.

Yasir Arafat’s rejection of the Clinton peace plan was utterly pragmatic. He rejected it because he knew that his people would see the “Palestine” proposed by the plan — overcrowded, geographically fractured, occupied by foreign troops — for what it was: a “Let’s Play Sovereignty” pseudo-state.

The real myth here is the notion that such a farcical imitation of a sovereign nation would have been fair or acceptable to the Palestinian people.

Saladin Ahmed
Brooklyn, Jan. 9, 2007

To the Editor:

Dennis Ross says he wants to “set the record straight” in his criticism of the use of maps in Jimmy Carter’s book “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid,” arguing that nothing has done more to set back the cause of peace than the perpetuation of “mythologies” on both sides.

Yet Mr. Ross himself perpetuates a mythology in his article through the repeated claim that Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, “rejected” the parameters offered by President Bill Clinton in December 2000.

In fact, as was widely reported at the time and repeated in two of the most authoritative histories of that period, Charles Enderlin’s “Shattered Dreams” and Clayton E. Swisher’s “Truth About Camp David,” both the Israelis and the Palestinians expressed reservations about Mr. Clinton’s parameters, but both sides accepted them as the basis for further talks.

Indeed, a White House spokesman, Jake Siewert, told the media in a news conference on Jan. 3, 2001, “Both sides have now accepted the president’s ideas with some reservations, and that represents a step forward.”

Mr. Ross tells us that “for peacemaking to work, it must proceed on the basis of fact, not fiction.” He should follow his own advice.

Roane Carey
New York, Jan. 9, 2007
The writer, a senior editor at The Nation, edited two books about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Amzaing, isn't it?

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