Having It Both Ways


Your June 17 editorial, “Misguided Statehood Push,” wants to have it both ways. On the one hand, you commend the Obama administration for its “productive efforts to blunt the thrust of the Palestinian campaign” to have Palestine recognized as a sovereign state by the United Nations during the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly. On the other hand, you admonish the administration “not to couple these efforts with new pressure on the Netanyahu government to make concessions as a way of enticing the Palestinians to forsake this misguided strategy.”

What then would be the incentive to the Palestinians to desist from pursuing a statehood resolution, which everyone knows would be supported by at least three-quarters of the United Nations membership, including a number of European states? The Palestinians have said repeatedly that they would greatly prefer resumption of negotiations over a fairly sterile UNGA resolution. The so-called “concessions” they seek for that to happen are nothing more than Israeli acceptance of the 1967 borders, with mutual territorial exchanges, as the basis for border negotiations and a three-month freeze of new settlement activity. It is not plausible to think that such “concessions” would jeopardize the security of Israel or its international standing more than formal recognition of Palestinian statehood by a large majority of the world’s population.

Successful negotiations leading to a two-state solution are vital to Israel’s survival as a Jewish democracy — a fact recognized by the vast majority of Israelis and their advocates and supporters throughout the world.

Communications Co-Chair J Street NYC