- The Washington Times - Monday, September 19, 2011

It would be a serious mistake for the international community to recognize a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state (“Palestinian leader Abbas says nothing can stop U.N. bid,” Web, Monday).

Any solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict must come from a bilateral, negotiated settlement. To use the United Nations to avoid sitting down with Israel will not deliver a lasting Palestinian state. The only effect this maneuver will create is setting off a new round of violence in the territories caused by unfulfilled expectations.

Further, any mention of a Palestinian “right of return” is code for the destruction of Israel. This term should be applied to Palestinians’ right of return to a Palestinian state created as a result of bilateral peace negotiations. Palestinians should not have the right to return to the Israeli state. This would create demographic forces that would lead to the elimination of the Jewish state.

This historic time in the Middle East in which Israel is threatened by Egypt, Turkey and the long-term effects of the “Arab Spring” is no time to be giving extremists more ammunition to foment violence.

Whenever Israel has made unilateral concessions and vacated land, such as South Lebanon and Gaza, the end result was for Israel’s enemies to view it as signs of weakness. New rounds of Palestinian violence always have followed conciliatory moves absent a quid pro quo from the Palestinians. Also, the elected government in Gaza is Hamas, a terrorist organization that continues to reject any negotiations and compromise, and continues to call for the destruction of Israel.

The only foreseeable result of a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations will be the destabilization of the whole region.

WAYNE ZAIDEMAN

Silver Spring