Readers React

Dreams of Mideast peace shouldn't cloud the harsh reality

To the editor: Israeli novelist Amos Oz is a dreamer, which as a writer of fiction is his job. He's not a leader. Leaders have to tend with reality. ("For its survival, Israel must abandon the one-state option," op-ed, March 7)

Oz ignores a few important realities. First, Egyptian leadership is not the same as Palestinian leadership. Egyptian leaders have a country to run. Palestinian leaders have terrorist networks and a people they subjugate.

Second, Egypt has kept the peace since Israel's withdrawal from Sinai. Palestinian terrorism and war against Israel have gotten worse since Israel withdrew from Gaza.

Third, Palestinian leadership considers all of Israel, even within the 1967 lines, as "occupied territory" to be "liberated." That is their one-state solution.

Even Oz the dreamer has to notice that the Egyptians are now treating Gaza as a terrorist state rather than a society they can live in peace with.

Harry Onickel, Ferndale, Mich.

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To the editor: Oz is correct that it is time for peace between Israel and Palestine. In fact, it is past time. Nevertheless, I agree with Oz that it is not too late.

The two sides have inflicted untold suffering on the other — it is unproductive to attempt to keep score on suffering. The only rational path that majorities support is to get enough justice so people can transcend the suffering and more forward to a better life.

Oz's logic is impeccable that either Israel works to enable a Palestinian state alongside Israel, or the entire land will be a Arab-majority state that will likely end the dream of a Jewish homeland.

Both sides need reform to make peace.

Israelis must elect a government that will work for a just peace. They must reject another government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who for the last five years has worked against peace by oppressing Palestinians and expanding settlements.

The Palestinians must unify themselves. A Palestinian government divided between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas cannot commit the Palestinians to peace.

Jeff Warner, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Oz's opinion that Israel must abandon a one-state solution ignores that the two-state solution has been the official Israeli policy for peace negotiations with the Palestinians for many years.

Whether Israel has had a right-leaning or left-leaning government, from Yitzhak Rabin to Netanyahu, the two-state solution has been the only option the prime ministers of Israel have talked about.

Ultimately, Oz's view reflects concerns over a non-existent Israeli policy.

Jason Levinson, Houston

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