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Israel can't make the Palestinians want peace

Israel's critics never mention the Palestinians' rejectionism and incitement.

Commentator Richard Gross blames the lack of a peaceful "two state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict solely on Israel and its current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the U.S. should have used a recent aid package as leverage to achieve that goal ("Israel aid derails potential for peace," Sept. 19).

Mr. Gross, however, fails to mention that it was the leadership of the Palestinian Authority that rejected U.S. and Israeli offers of statehood in exchange for peace at Camp David in 2000, at Taba in 2001 and after the Annapolis Conference in 2008.

In May the PA rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's proposed 2014 "road map" to restart negotiations, as it had similarly spurned a peace attempt by Vice President Joseph Biden in March.

In May Mr. Netanyahu again said he was willing to meet PA President Mahmoud Abbas "today in Jerusalem. If he'd like, in Ramallah. Right now. Today." Abbas rejected that offer and has continued to incite anti-Jewish violence.

Yet Mr. Gross — who has not a word to say about Palestinian rejectionism and incitement — claims that Mr. Netanyahu has "mouthed platitudes about making peace without any follow-through."

The same day that Mr. Gross' commentary was published, Mr. Abbas lauded a terrorist who was killed while trying to stab Israeli police, calling him "a martyr who watered the pure earth of Palestine with his blood."

Solely blaming Israel may sound good to Mr. Gross, but factually speaking that's about it.

Sean Durns, Silver Spring

The writer is a research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting.

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