Who Wants Peace? A Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama:
 
I am concerned about your recent comments doubting Israel’s commitment to peace. You claim Benjamin Netanyahu had not done enough to explore the “politics of hope”. The world claims Israel is not doing enough for peace. Israel wants peace more than those professing concern about the lack of a peace process. A peace process requires a commitment by two parties. Israel has demonstrated its commitment to peace by removing its people from the Sinai in return for peace with Egypt. Israel removed its people from Gaza in hopes of peace. Israel froze construction for 10 months in disputed territories and freed hundreds of convicted Palestinian murderers from Israeli prisons simply to be able to talk to the Palestinians about peace. What have the Palestinians done?
 
The Palestinians continue their incitement against Israel by honoring murderers of Israelis, by demonizing Jews and by denying Jewish historical claims to the land of Israel. Palestinian President Abbas refuses to engage in peace talks unless Israel accepts the division of Jerusalem, the permanent freezing of settlements and the release of additional Palestinian murderers. Why is that not mentioned as an obstacle to peace? Is Israel expected to negotiate when the other side’s pre-conditions are the issues to be negotiated?
 
Is building homes in disputed areas more detrimental to peace than teaching children to hate Jews? Israel accepted Secretary Kerry’s framework towards peace with reservations to be negotiated. Abbas never responded just as Arafat never responded to the peace offers made at Camp David in 2000 and Ehud Olmert’s offers in 2007. To impose a settlement between the parties rewards the Palestinians for their incitement, for their lies about Jewish history and their unwillingness to negotiate.
 
Your threats to support a U.N. forced settlement between the Palestinians and Israelis are contrary to previous U.S. policy which supported negotiations between the parties as the only way to settle the conflict. A forced settlement pressures those who have made sacrifices for peace and rewards those that have rejected peace. Please rethink what is a destructive and dangerous policy.
 
Very truly yours,
 
Conrad Nadell
Scotch Plains, NJ