The Palestinians are responsible for their fate

To the editor: The historical overview of the Palestinians misses two important points. ("Palestinians escalate campaign for sovereign statehood," Jan. 3)

Quite to the contrary of University of Haifa historian Ido Zelkovitz's proclamation that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was losing international support, the United Nations vote on the Palestinian statehood gambit presented two new Israeli allies: India and Nigeria. These two nations changed their previous nonaligned status and found themselves sympathetic to Israel, which faces the same threats of expansionist militant Islam as they do.

Furthermore, no mention was made in this article of the truly calculated risk the Palestinians under Yasser Arafat's leadership took 15 years ago: They refused the statehood offer forged by President Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

The fruits of that terrible miscalculation can be seen today.


Richard Friedman, Culver City


To the editor: Once in the article and again in a photo caption, The Times uses the word "erupted" to describe the war in Gaza this summer: "In July, fighting erupted in the Gaza Strip," and, "By July, war had erupted in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip."

Volcanoes erupt, suddenly and without human intervention; wars do not. The war in Gaza was perpetrated by Hamas, which kidnapped and killed three innocent teenagers, fired thousands of rockets into Israel and built tunnels to be used for kidnapping and killing more Israelis.

To say that fighting erupted is at best a poorly chosen description.

Elaine Hassan, Los Angeles


To the editor: The Palestinians have applied to join the International Criminal Court to accuse Israel of committing war crimes against them. Israel's response: a vigorous legal defense? No. It is to take money that belongs to the Palestinians. ("Palestinians joining International Criminal Court; U.S., Israel object," Dec. 31)

What part of "war crimes" does Israel not understand?

Erica Hahn, Monrovia

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