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News Opinion Readers Respond

The onus is on the Palestinians to talk peace

Your editorial suggesting that United Nations recognition of Palestine will put pressure on Israel to resume peace talks is a naive repetition of the myth that Palestinians actually want peace with Israel ("Pressure on Israel to negotiate," Nov. 30).

The Palestinian charter calls for the destruction of Israel, not "living side by side in peace" with it as you state. The charter of Hamas is even more explicit.

How can you negotiate with an entity that has sworn your destruction? The pressure should be on the Palestinians and Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist and to defend itself from constant aggression by the Palestinians.

You state that the Palestinian Authority "at least in principle accepts Israel's right to exist." That is clearly not the Palestinian position and it has never been expressed publicly.

Serious negotiations can only occur when the Palestinian Authority and Hamas openly embrace the right of Israel to exist and abandon their demand of a greater Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean.

The pressure to negotiate is on the Palestinians, not the Israelis; anything else is a sham.

Louis S. Halikman, Monkton

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