While reading G. Jefferson Price's column ("For Israel, it's different this time," Nov. 20), I was reminded of the quip "learned nothing, forgot nothing" describing a reactionary French royal family. Mr. Price displays the same distorted views toward Israel he showed 35 years ago when he was The Sun's Middle East correspondent, intervening events not budging his attitudes.
According to Mr. Price, Israel "acts with impunity" against Palestinian Arabs and Lebanon. Unmentioned are thousands of Israeli casualties, two Arab uprisings, withdrawals from Gaza, Lebanon and major portions of the West Bank. Per Mr. Price, Israel has "consistently obstructed and resisted" peace. Unmentioned are the 1980s treaty with Lebanon (repudiated by that country), the 1993 Oslo accords, and the current absolute refusal of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. To Mr. Price, Israel was and remains too ignorant to do what is best for itself and "its allies in Washington and the capitals of Europe" have to guide them for their own good. The Israel government's experience is not valid in determining its policy. Mr. Price, sitting in his time capsule, obviously believes since he has nothing to learn from history, neither do the Israelis.
Peace will come when the Arabs negotiate with Israel to settle all outstanding issues. These include borders, all refugees and their descendants, water rights, joint economic arrangements, and freedom to travel. Arabs must declare their war, struggle, jihad or whatever they call their fight against Israel over. Their allies, perhaps including Mr. Price, should make that clear to them. Hopefully, Mr. Price will learn that and forget what he wrote Nov. 20.
Jerry Levin, BaltimoreCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun