- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ahmad Tibi’s Dec. 28 observations about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (“The tragedy of a two-state solution,” Commentary) could use less emotionally induced mendacity and more hard evidence for his claims. It’s not just that he plays fast and loose with the facts, but that he often ignores them in making his argument against the Israelis.

What the Israelis want is peace, security, preservation of cultural sites and acknowledgment that it is a Jewish state (the only one). What Mr. Tibi offers instead is no substitute for facts and reason.

While accusing Israel of not wanting “a just resolution” of the conflict, it is worth pointing out what Mr. Tibi conveniently overlooks: It was the Palestinians, armed with non-negotiable conditions, who walked away from the peace talks. While the Israelis staked out positions, they did not set any preconditions for the talks.

Other issues arise when Mr. Tibi accuses Israel of being “segregationist and apartheid” and “a Jewish state that is by definition discriminatory.” As we know, it is the Palestinians who, worse than apartheid, practice religious cleansing. The example of Gaza comes to mind. There is no getting away from the incontestable fact that the disengagement from Gaza became necessary because 1.4 million Palestinians refused to live in peace with 8,000 Jews, who, at the time, could live only within their gated and guarded communities. The Palestinians and apartheid are thus old friends.

While demanding “one man, one vote” from the Israelis and “support for fundamental principles such as civil rights, equality and tolerance of all religions,” it is important that we look into what Palestine would look like using the Palestinian National Authority’s own words: How many Jews will be permitted to live or own property in East Jerusalem or Palestine? How many Jews will be allowed to vote in Palestine? How many Jews will be allowed to go to school in Palestine? How many Jewish doctors and teachers will there be in Palestine? How many Jews will serve in Palestinian political posts? How many Jews will be permitted to pray at Jewish holy sites in Palestine? The answer to all these questions is none.

ALAN B. KATZ

Melville, N.Y.