- The Washington Times - Friday, January 9, 2009

Arnaud de Borchgrave’s column, “Israel’s end game” (Commentary, Tuesday), makes a few points worth contemplating. For example, “Hezbollah in 2006 and Hamas in 2008-09 have convinced an overwhelming majority of Israelis that a Palestinian state cannot coexist peacefully with the Jewish state.”

However, he spreads too much confusion in doing so. He claims that “no Israeli leader, expecting to stay alive politically, could endorse” a Palestinian state with “a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.” That, however, is what Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak endorsed at Camp David in July 2000 during the summit with President Clinton. The Barak-Clinton offer of a West Bank and Gaza Strip state with East Jerusalem as its capital didn’t bring down the Israeli government; Palestinian rejection of the proposal with bombings of Israeli buses, malls and restaurants did.

Mr. de Borchgrave writes that in 2006, “a punitive [Israeli] raid into south Lebanon triggered a hail of Hezbollah rockets and missiles.” It was the other way around: A hail of Hezbollah rockets and missiles helped cover a Hezbollah raid into northern Israel that killed three soldiers and captured two. After five more Israeli troops were killed in a rescue attempt, Israel then launched “a punitive raid into south Lebanon.”

The columnist writes that “the 2002 Saudi plan … called for recognition of Israel by all 22 Arab states in return for the territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War (with minor adjustments in Israel’s favor to be negotiated).” He does not mention that the well-advertised but less scrutinized Saudi suggestions seemed to insist on the nonexistent Arab “right of return” to Israel, implicitly endorsed anti-Israel terrorism as “legitimate resistance” and required that Israel withdraw from all the ‘67 territories - no mention of “minor adjustments.” This contradicts U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 and assurances by Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.



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