The Sun reports ("Bid for statehood may end; Possible deal delays U.N. debate, retains aid to Palestinians," September 21) that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "decided to approach the U.N. this year [for statehood recognition] because of his frustration that after nearly two decades of U.S.-led negotiations, the long-promised separate Palestinian state had not materialized." That's one way of putting it, but it's Palestinian spin.
It's Palestinian rejectionism that has frustrated U.S. diplomacy.
In 2000, the Palestinian Authority rejected an Israeli-U.S. proposal for a Palestinian state on 95 percent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, in exchange for peace with Israel. Rather than negotiate, Palestinian leaders started the bloody second intifada.
In 2001, the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat again rejected an Israeli-U.S. offer to negotiate a two-state solution, this time on the basis of more than 97 percent of the territories in exchange for peace. The Palestinian reply was continued violence.
In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert proposed to Mr. Abbas that they negotiate a two-state solution including virtually all the West Bank and Gaza, with land-swaps to make up the difference. Another Palestinian rejection followed, again with no counter-offer.
If anyone should be frustrated, it's the United States and Israel. And there is no long-standing promise of a separate Palestinian state, not outside a negotiated end to the conflict that recognizes, according to U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, Israel's "right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries."
Eric Rozenman, Washington
The writer is Washington director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun