The facts of Israeli peace efforts

December 22, 2010

In what is at least his 27th anti-Israel letter in the past six years, Ray Gordon ("U.S. should cut Israel off," December 17) erroneously charges:

• "Israel doesn't want a peace settlement with the Palestinians, today or ever." In that case, why did Israel propose a West Bank and Gaza Strip state, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, to Palestinian leadership in 2008, 2001 and 2000 — only to be rejected, with no counter-offer each time, and with violence on the earlier two occasions?

• "All Israel wants to do is continue stealing Palestinian land and water in the West Bank and East Jerusalem." If so, why have water sources and per capita usage among Arabs on the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem increased under Israeli development? Why has Israeli settlement construction taken less than 5 percent of the West Bank, virtually all of it state land under the Ottomans, British and Jordanians as well as the Israelis, and designated by the League of Nations, upheld by the U.N. for "close Jewish settlement"? Is Mr. Gordon saying Arabs should be able to live in western Jerusalem, as some do, but not Jews in the eastern part of the city?

• Israel maintains a "strangulation blockade of the Gaza Strip, referred to as the world's largest prison." If so, why are plentiful consumer goods smuggled back to Egypt, where they fetch higher prices? Why have new beach clubs and shopping malls opened, and how do hundreds of truckloads of humanitarian goods, including food and medicine, enter regularly? Contrary to Mr. Gordon's assertion, current usage of "the world's largest prison" tends to refer to North Korea. The Gaza Strip is a police state of sorts, though — its Hamas rulers are attempting to impose an increasingly repressive Islamic regime while using it as a base to attack Israel.

Mr. Gordon tiresomely reiterates that the United States is "the lackey for Israel." Sounds more like he's a lackey for anti-Israel bromides.

Eric Rozenman, Washington

The writer is Washington Director of CAMERA — Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

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