What are we waiting for? | AspenTimes.com

What are we waiting for?

Dear Editor:

Harold Seifer and Buster Feldman write that Israel has no partner for peace in the Arab world. I would argue that it’s the other way around.

All 21 Arab states and the Palestinian leadership have signed the Arab Peace Initiative, first issued in 2002 and reissued in 2007, formally committing themselves to full recognition, peace and normalization with Israel in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal from the occupied territories.

The plan requires that both parties comply with U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, which calls for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East by withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict (the 1967 Six-Day War), and respect for the right of every state in the area to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries. The plan is not a complete peace treaty. Under its terms, all final status issues would have to be worked out to the satisfaction of both Israelis and Arabs.

This is the “land for peace” formula that Israel has agreed to, yet refuses to implement. The Arabs are willing to recognize Israel and live in peace, but Israel refuses to give up any of the Palestinian territory that it has occupied for the last 40 years. In defiance of all peace negotiations, U.N. resolutions and international law, Israel not only refuses to end their occupation, they continue to take more Palestinian land for Jewish-only neighborhoods, creating an apartheid condition that threatens the future of a Palestinian state and is detrimental to security and peace for Israel.

If Israel’s prime concern is the safety of its civilians then why has it placed 460,000 Jewish civilians into enemy territory? This is the obstacle to peace that world leaders, including our own, have been referring to for the last few years.

Those of us who advocate for the end of occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state do not wish the destruction of Israel. On the contrary, it’s because we want to see Israel survive and live in peace with her Arab neighbors that we support Palestinian freedom and autonomy. I am both pro-Palestine and pro-Israel. I wish to see Palestine become a legitimate state, and I wish to see Israel thrive and prosper in peace and security. Neither of these can be accomplished as long as Israel refuses to end the occupation and withdraw from the Palestinian West Bank territory.

So what is Israel waiting for? Why don’t they end the occupation, allow a Palestinian state to be created and live in peace with their Arab neighbors? And what are we waiting for? If the Arab Peace Initiative is backed and brokered by the United States, it would prove beneficial in removing the incentive of terrorists to attack us for our current unconditional support of Israel, thus creating more security for the United States.

So call or write your representatives today and ask them to end unconditional financial contributions to Israel and support the Arab Peace Initiative.

Sue Gray


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