To the Editor:
Why spend an entire editorial questioning Benjamin Netanyahu’s commitment to peace when a supposed “peace partner” on the Palestinian side is a terrorist organization with the stated goal of destroying Israel?
The question of how soon Israel’s next prime minister will remove the blockades and roadblocks erected in Gaza to stop the daily barrage of rockets into Israel seems less urgent than the question of when Palestinian leaders will stop calling for the destruction of Israel and end the rocket attacks.
Given Hamas’s stated goals and track record of devastating terrorism, any Israeli commitment to finding a peaceful solution is extraordinary and should be applauded, not critiqued.
A rebuke of Hamas’s unwillingness to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, let alone propose any peaceful resolution to the conflict, seems as much in order.
To the Editor:
You assert criteria by which Benjamin Netanyahu, after becoming the Israeli prime minister, can be defined as being “serious about seeking peace.” Those criteria are the same cant that has been recycled for years and lack any creativity that might break the conflict out of its dead-end cycle.
One could view Mr. Netanyahu’s work to forge a broader coalition containing doves and hawks as the best evidence to date of his commitment to creative and pragmatic approaches to Israel’s challenges, which include seeking peace.
We do not know what Mr. Netanyahu will do and what might succeed. But perhaps at the dawn of a new Israeli government working with a new American administration, we should be open to new thinking about how to attack old problems.
Nathan J. Diament
Dir. of Public Policy, Union of Orthodox
Jewish Congregations of America
To the Editor:
The essential difference between Israeli leaders is not whether they do or do not want peace, but whether they believe that peace is attainable, that there is a true partner to make peace with.
Benjamin Netanyahu has been in the camp wary of the Palestinians. Recent history has demonstrated that the right wing in Israel has gotten it right.
It is the Palestinians who have not stepped forward as true partners in peace. It is ultimately not within the power of an Israeli leader, whoever he or she may be, to obtain peace until there is a Palestinian leader who has the desire — and the strength — to make peace with Israel.
West Hartford, Conn.
Here's what I would have sent:
Your editorial ("Being a Partner for Peace", Mar. 26) casts doubt on the capability of Israel's next Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, being able to act as a partner for peace, intimating that he built a "reputation as a hard-liner with deep misgivings about the very peace process he now claims to be willing to embrace".
Could it be perhaps that the current peace process is not the way to peace and should be un-embraced? Could Netanyahu's point be that the Oslo path is not the exclusive peace path and, to be a partner for peace, one should explore and push alternatives that could work better? Peace is the goal, not the process.