Your front page article “Senate letter urging tensions tamp-down gets 76 signatures,” (April 16), was quite informative.
I hope the Obama administration heeds the words of more than three quarters of U.S. Senators urging them not to allow tensions with Israel to harm Israeli-Palestinian talks. It is more important than ever for Israel and the Palestinians to enter into direct face-to-face negotiations without pre-conditions on either side. The Senate letter rightly pointed out that Palestinian leaders are refusing to enter into direct negotiations with Israel.
Interestingly, a companion letter in the U.S. House of Representatives won overwhelming support in 72 hours.
Since Obama became president, his administration seems to view Israel as the primary cause of instability in the Middle East. They seem to forget the number of times Israel has unsuccessfully taken bold moves to make peace with Palestinian Arabs. Also, they overlook the fact that the U.S. has never had to go to war to defend the Jewish State. Israel is being unfairly accused of being an obstacle to peace. The greatest obstacle to peace remains Israel’s neighbors’ refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a tiny state in their historic homeland.
On May 24, 2007, candidate Obama said Israel is our most reliable ally and the only established democracy in the Middle East. Israel’s security — which is of vital importance to the U.S. — can best be guaranteed by reaching negotiated peace agreements with its neighbors. But Israel must have credible partners with whom to negotiate.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu rightly stated that Jerusalem is not “a settlement.” We must not allow Jerusalem to be used as a propaganda tool in the hands of people who sadly crave Israel’s destruction. We cannot accept a divided Jerusalem. People of all faiths have been allowed to pray there under Israeli rule since 1967. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish people. It is not “the third holiest city” as it is for the Muslims. It is the only holy city of the Jewish people. It has been so for over 3,300 years. Jerusalem is mentioned 700 times in the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Koran. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammad never came to Jerusalem.
A lasting peace can only be achieved if Hamas and Fatah nullify their charters calling for the total destruction of Israel, renounce violence and end their hate campaign against Israelis and Jews living in their ancestral home.