Even if failure fails
Sir-- This is the right time for Israel to choose between peace and construction plans.
Tel Aviv has repeatedly said the 10-month moratorium on building Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory is unlikely to be extended. Palestinians threaten to quit the direct peace negotiations with Israel if the settlement construction moratorium ends.
No country in the world recognises Israel's right to the lands they continue to annex, including the US. Time to stop pussyfooting around and cut off aid to Israel until it sits down for serious negotiations that lead to a two-state solution. This has gone on too long. Time for Israel to wise up and become part of the international community.
The Palestinian Authority's (PA) position on settlements -- that they are an obstacle to peace -- has not changed for many years and is in line with that of the US. However, neither the PA nor the US has turned that position into action intended to force Israel to stop building and expanding its illegal settlements on occupied territory. Zionist settlements continue; negotiations continue.
In his speech in Cairo last year President Barack Obama announced his opposition to Israeli settlements. The PA had to catch up with him, announcing its own opposition even though it had never before said that without a settlement freeze there would be no negotiations. But settlement activities continued, as it was never very likely that President Obama would match his words with deeds.
In any event, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he will negotiate even if the negotiations fail; and he will negotiate if failure fails; and he will negotiate if the failure of failure fails. His chief negotiator believes that life is negotiations, something that is very new in human experience; negotiations as life rather than a tool to achieve something tangible.
For Palestinian philosophers, negotiations do not deviate from the continuation of negotiations, and if the settlements are to continue, then failure does not mean that negotiations will stop.
Sir-- US president Eisenhower was about to help transform the Middle East into the Western model of democracy by which America stood to gain economic rewards undreamed of before. Here enters Israel as it overturned the chessboard. Israel has finally proved to America to be the dog in the manger. Now America is faced with the malaise and an open sore called Israel. On one side lies the mouth watering untapped mineral and economic resources of the Muslim world waiting to be explored to the mutual interest of both parties and on the other stands as a roadblock tiny Israel like a hot potato.
History is about to take a U-turn. America, too, is badly tangled in the genocide of the Palestinians and might be caught in the maelstrom. The Arab world needs to embrace a new diplomatic strategy for its transition to democracy from blatant autocracy. You are being overshadowed by China that is least worried about the conflict in Palestine or about Iran's nuke ambitions.
Sir-- If Israel's stranglehold over US foreign policy is to be broken, Americans will need to be informed about the harm that Washington's unconditional support for the Jewish state is doing to American interests.