‘A Signal for Shamir’

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has returned to Israel. It’s now his moment to deliver the “election” offered as the first step toward a negotiated peace.

However, I fear, in spite of President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker sending “signals” along the line suggested in your editorial (“A Signal for Shamir,” April 5), Israel’s prime minister will not succeed. He remains committed not to meet with the “enemy"--the Palestine Liberation Organization--whom all neutral observers and participants say is the power that can negotiate a settlement.

What’s disturbing is that all the hoopla about the “solidarity conference” in Jerusalem has made Shamir and his followers more obstinate, convinced they can fulfill what Vladimir Jabotinsky couldn’t do because of David Ben-Gurion--namely, re-create the Jewish state along the lines of the more restrictive “revisionist” view that severly limits rights and privileges of Israeli Arabs, and insists on Judea and Samaria being retained.

And while security demands Israel retain possession of the high places, such as the Judean hills around Jerusalem, it’s improbable that much more of the “occupied” territories can be kept, as the very documents Israel relies on to justify its position, U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, as well as the Camp David accords, call for negotiations as to the future of these territories.


What’s disturbing to me, as a member of the Establishment organizations that insist on following Israel’s lead, it that our leaders fail to hear the very signals our government sends to Israel. Instead, we get exercised over “Who’s a Jew?” when the paramount issues are peace in the region, and Israel fulfilling its “mission.” It’s to retain our nationalism, but also to convert differences into a harmonious unity, so all people can live in a world that recognizes the universality of humanity, and the importance of each and every individual having the opportunity to realize the promise of equal treatment, and a just society.


Pacific Palisades