To the Editor:
In “Just Knock It Off” (column, Oct. 20), Thomas L. Friedman acknowledges that Israel has enemies that want to wipe it off the map and that he does not know whether Israel’s proposed peace partner, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, has the will or guts to actually make peace.
Yet he chides Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for not extending the settlement freeze, an act that would have likely threatened his government’s stability and would not have been supported by the majority of Israelis.
Let’s not forget that Mr. Netanyahu said he would extend the freeze for one simple quid pro quo — acknowledgment by the Palestinians that Israel is a Jewish state. Had this been agreed to, there likely would have been overwhelming sentiment in Israel to continue with the freeze and negotiations.
The Palestinian failure to accept Israel as a Jewish state just perpetuates the belief among Israelis that the ultimate goal of its neighbors is still its destruction. With that mind-set, a continued settlement freeze makes no sense.
And here is Richard D. Hyman of Alamo, Calif. who plays the money angle which is always the underline of the antisemitic approach to the Middle East:
To the Editor:
Israel is behaving not just like a spoiled child, as Thomas L. Friedman says, but also like one who has run away from home but still has full use of the family credit card.
Could there be a clearer message from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s obstinacy regarding settlements that Israel is not interested in peace under any reasonable terms?