Netanyahu's speech to Congress was deceitful

May 28, 2011

Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the U.S Congress on Tuesday ("Congress lauds Israeli leader," May 25) can be described as an attempt to deceive the American public that he is willing to make a "painful compromise with the Palestinians." Throughout his speech to the U.S Congress, I only found the audience's reaction to his words to be surprising; the way the U.S. Congress would applaud his historical and contemporary semi-true statements regarding Israel's democratic and religious tolerance along with being the victim of Palestinian aggression.

How can Israel be a democracy if there are millions of Palestinian refugees who are prohibited from returning to their homes? How can Israel practice tolerance if it prohibits Muslim worshippers from entering the Al-Aqsa mosque because they are under the age of 45 or only if suspected of potentially committing a crime without legal evidence or proof?

Today Israeli policymakers are only harming their long-term interests. By prohibiting Muslim worshippers from entering Al-Aqsa, continuing military expansion into Palestinians lands, and annexing Jerusalem as only Israel's capital will remain the source of future clashes between these two populations. Mr. Netanyahu claims to be committed to peace, even though his administration plans day and night how it can expand its territories and borders. Israeli behavior will be deterred as a new wave of Islamic self-determination will oppose its expansionist policies. Israel must learn how to rationally deal with its Muslim neighbors if it will ever attempt to successfully make a compromise for peace.

Waseem Pharoan, Lutherville

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