A Columnist's Blind Spot on Israel

[Jerusalem Post] David A. Harris - Nicholas Kristof is a respected New York Times columnist who earned acclaim for focusing our attention on the unfolding tragedy in Darfur. But when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, he has a blind spot. Frankly, Israel doesn't need lectures from well-intentioned journalists on the need for peace. Israel needs well-intentioned partners for peace. There's no partner because in the January 2006 elections the Palestinians elected Hamas, a terrorist group dedicated to Israel's annihilation. The Hamas Charter spells that out clearly and unambiguously. Should Israel sit down and talk with Hamas, which controls 11 of the 17 cabinet posts in the new PA government, about the timetable for Israel's own destruction? Given the reality on the ground, and after the Gaza and Lebanon experiences, Olmert can't risk further shrinking Israel without a negotiated deal and solid international guarantees. Israel has sought peace and coexistence with its Arab neighbors since its establishment in 1948. But peace doesn't come by waving a magic wand or wistfully projecting one's aspirations on others. When a serious and determined Palestinian peace partner emerges as the examples of Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Jordan's King Hussein amply prove, the Israeli people will not need coaxing from an American journalist. The writer is the Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee.

2007-03-22 01:00:00

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