In their letter “Trump wrong on Jerusalem” (Dec. 17) J. Mark Davidson and Miriam Thompson, co-conveners of The Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East (AIME), allege – among other charges – that President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel “extinguishes the last remaining embers of the so-called ‘peace process’ built on the ‘two-state solution’” and “abandons the path that seeks a just and lasting peace, choosing instead domination and violence.”
But as the record shows, Davidson and Thompson don’t want a just peace; they want to demonize and eliminate Israel.
In 2016 Davidson wrote, “Current realities have emptied ‘the two-state solution’ of any real significance.” The AIME blog has repeatedly posted articles presenting a one-state solution and endorsing the view that “the two-state solution is dead in the water.” How many times will Davidson and his crew of anti-Israel activists say, in essence, ‘This is the last straw,’ and – rather than advocate a “just and lasting peace” – insist yet again that Israel no longer has the right to exist?
When the Palestinian leadership rejected statehood (which included a Palestinian capital of East Jerusalem) and the Palestinian people elected Hamas – an internationally recognized terrorist organization – to power, Davidson and Thompson did not declare Palestinian statehood “dead in the water.” When Palestinians fired thousands of rockets and mortars at Israel, sent waves of suicide killers into that state, and dug terror tunnels under Israel to kidnap Israelis, Davidson and Thompson did not lament that such terrorism “extinguishes the last remaining embers of the so-called ‘peace process.’” But the United States recognizes part of Jerusalem, the holiest place in Judaism, as Israel’s capital, and Davidson and Thompson reaffirm their position that Israel should be eliminated.
In 2015 the AIME blog quoted a +972 Blog article: “There is no use convincing the Jewish public to support the two-state solution … and there is no guarantee that a Palestinian state will not be the source of terror against Israelis.” The article asks, “[W]ho can guarantee that missiles won’t strike central Israel a month after an agreement is signed?” So AIME is endorsing the bizarre argument that Israel should perish because independent Palestinian statehood might trigger even more Palestinian terror against Israel. The two-state solution is presented as “dead” because Palestinian terrorism against Israel may be inevitable. This strikes me as both racist toward Palestinians and anti-Semitic in its eagerness to eradicate Israel, the only Jewish-majority country on the planet.
Contrary to the view endorsed by AIME, the members of the “Jewish public” I know – and I myself – overwhelmingly support a two-state solution. We are baffled by the Palestinian leadership’s repeated rejections of viable and dignified statehood. We share President Bill Clinton’s dismay when he stated in 2016, “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state.” As he had said years earlier, “the deal [offered to the Palestinians] was so good I couldn’t believe anyone would be foolish enough to let it go.”
Dennis Ross, Middle East envoy for President Clinton, wrote in the New York Times, “Put simply, the Clinton parameters would have produced an independent Palestinian state with 100 percent of Gaza, roughly 97 percent of the West Bank …. Arab East Jerusalem would become the capital of the Palestinian state.”
Davidson and Thompson write that AIME “deplores the decision of the Trump administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Instead of abhorring the recognition of deep Jewish ties to our ancestral and spiritual capital, Davidson and Thompson should be protesting the repeated rejection of “a just and lasting peace” by the Palestinian leadership, and reflecting upon their continued demonization of Israel.
Peter Reitzes lives in Chapel Hill.