Palestinians Far From Disenfranchised


Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, in his Opinion piece (“Oy, Jerusalem,” Feb. 2), is worried about what he calls “Israeli rule [over] 2.7 million (and growing) politically disenfranchised Palestinians.” But they stopped being disenfranchised — deprived of the right to vote —long ago.

In 1995, Israel’s forces withdrew from the areas where 98 percent of the Palestinian Arabs reside, and the Palestinian Authority took over. Local elections were held in 2005, 2012 and again last May, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinian voters chose the members of the 391 municipal and village councils. They also voted in Palestinian parliamentary elections in 1996 and 2006, and in presidential elections in 1996 and 2005.

The fact that no parliamentary or presidential elections have been held since then is because Mahmoud Abbas has not permitted them, not because of anything Israel has done. The fact that there is no Palestinian state yearned for by Rabbi Cosgrove and “progressive American Jewry” is also the work of Mahmoud Abbas. Wake up, folks.

The writer is vice president of the Religious Zionists of America and father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.