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Israelis aren’t to blame for stalled peace talks

A recent Another Voice, “Israel must live up to its pledge to release prisoners,” blames the failure of the Palestinian/Israeli peace talks totally on the Israelis. Greg Slabodkin is incorrect on many accounts. He reversed the order of events to fit his narrative.

The Israeli government canceled the fourth release of murderers as a consequence of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas applying for membership in international organizations. This version is confirmed by Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipni Livni, who has bent over backward to bring about a peace agreement. Even Secretary of State John Kerry indicated that Palestinians unilaterally seeking membership in international organizations harmed the negotiations.

In addition, the writer is misinformed when discussing Israeli settlements. They are not illegal under the fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids the forcible transfer of populations into or out of disputed territories. The Israelis who live in the West Bank were not transferred there by force, nor have any Palestinians been expelled by force from the West Bank.

Then there are the ethical considerations of what the writer is proposing. His opinion was published only a few days after Frazier Glenn Cross murdered three people at Jewish community facilities in Kansas City. Many Americans might be hard pressed to envision a scenario where a convicted killer would be set free, let alone hundreds of them. Yet that is what the Palestinians demand of Israel – setting killers free who are idolized by Palestinians for murdering Jewish children and Holocaust survivors. That kind of thinking has to change.

Only when Palestinians no longer object that their neighbor is a Jewish country will peace be within reach.

Elinor Weiss

East Amherst