Learn Some Lessons From Gaza Withdrawal
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October 8, 2008

 


 

 

Letters

 Wed. Oct 08, 2008



Learn Some Lessons From Gaza Withdrawal


The Forward takes the convenient view that, since it agrees with Ehud Olmert’s current policy to retreat entirely from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem and create a Palestinian state, Olmert is right to pursue this policy even though he has resigned.


Untrue.


In democracies, caretaker prime ministers do not even appoint new ministers and heads of departments, let alone initiate new policies and diplomatic initiatives — especially when the public opposes them, as the Israel public does here. A March 2008 Maagar Mochot poll found that 62% of Israeli Jews, on principle, oppose discussing dividing Jerusalem in negotiations with the Palestinians. Moreover, most also believe that there is “very little chance” that signing a final-status peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority — even one that divides Jerusalem — would bring either a cessation of terrorist attacks (69%) or an end to Palestinian claims in Jerusalem (61%).


The Israeli view is based on reality: An An-Najah National University poll from last month showed that 54.3% of Palestinians reject the idea of a Palestinian state living in peace with a neighboring Israel.


Neither democratic practice, Israeli opinion nor Palestinian views lends support to the idea that setting up a Palestinian state in order to produce peace is a policy Olmert should be advancing.


Morton A. Klein
National President
Zionist Organization of America
New York, N.Y.

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