Saudi Initiative


Although I don’t fully agree with Gary Rosenblatt’s view of the Palestinian Authority as more recalcitrant than Israel is at times, there’s much in his column, “Looking to Bibi, As The World Closes In” (Editor’s column, May 20), that I do agree with. I especially agree that the so-called “Nakba,” the catastrophe for the Arabs as a result of Israel’s victory in 1948, was brought about by their violent opposition to the United Nations partition plan and their military attempt to destroy Israel in its infancy.

Yet I disagree with Rosenblatt’s contention that this Arab refusal to accept Israel “remains the crux of the problem more than six decades later.”

Obviously, hard-line Arab rejectionists remain in Hamas, Hezbollah and in other movements. But Israel has never constructively responded to the Saudi-led Arab League peace initiative, which has been on the table since 2002. Its possible ambiguities require clarification, but it likely does commit all members of the Arab League to peace and normalized relations with Israel if the territorial, refugees and other major issues are resolved through negotiations.

Since Israel will not negotiate its end as a sovereign Jewish state, there is the very positive implication that the Arab world is prepared to accept the reality of Israel’s existence.