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A July 26 letter laments the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations. The writer labels Israel an apartheid regime and states, "South Africa ended its apartheid regime; Israel needs to do the same." In a follow-up on The News website, the same writer offers: "You make peace by making peace, not by killing those you perceive as your enemies." Does he not see the contradiction in these statements? South Africa ended its apartheid regime because both sides of the conflict wanted a peaceful settlement. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has only one side that wants a peaceful settlement. Yes, there have been evil Israelis who have shed innocent blood, but the overwhelming national desire of Israel is for peace with all its neighbors. The same cannot be said of the Palestinians.

The writer is addressing the wrong side of the conflict. It is the Palestinian leadership that "honors" its commitment to educate its people for peace in the 1993 Oslo Accords by continuing to publish textbooks that teach its children that Jews are the offspring of pigs, by naming landmarks for the murderers of schoolchildren and of pizza palace patrons, and by negotiating instead with Hamas, which pledges no peace with Israel. The Palestinian cheers for the destruction of the World Trade Center are a product of this deliberate failure of the Palestinian leadership.

The Palestinians, under Yasser Arafat's and under Mahmoud Abbas' leadership, were offered nearly everything they demanded on multiple occasions. Were they serious about peace, they would have had their state years ago.

Laurence Boxer

Niagara Falls