Letters to the Editor

Merge Israel and Palestine

President Shimon Peres stated that if one dismisses the two-state solution, one is obliged to clarify an alternative. That is absolutely a correct and valid observation.

Consider that neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis truly want to divide the land. It was tried in 1917, 1937, 1947 and a dozen diplomatic plans since. Theres neither will nor way, on either side. Thats why Arafat rejected the Camp David Accords; thats why Abbas rejected the Olmert-Livni offers; thats why Israel keeps building settlements. We both want the whole of the land.

No Palestinian politician can accept Israeli control of the Jordan Valley, demilitarization or abandoning the right of return. No Israeli government can forego these demands.

Hamas would, as in 2006, defeat Fatah in elections in the West Bank. But in free and truly secret ballot elections there between Hamas (and radical Islam), Fatah (and ongoing corruption) and an additional party calling for union with Israel as a single state, with the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship, the unionists would win. Haaretz Magazine suggested that East Jerusalem residents can and will adapt given a program of ongoing equalization and infrastructure improvements.

Legitimacy can only be reached through free elections. Hold those elections, and dont annex, but merge the two entities.

Yes, Israel will continue to be a Jewish state; but its always been a multi-ethnic mix of Israeli Muslims, Christians, Druze and Jews.

And, there are two other pure Palestinian states: Gaza (100 percent) and Jordan (70-75 percent).

Finally, its critical to implement radical electoral reform. The 120 seats contested by party lists encourage radical and irresponsible positions, with no reference back to constituencies.

There is a legitimate solution. Its democracy. The left-right debate over the legitimacy of Israel and the occupation must be replaced by one over the full extension of both rights and responsibilities for all the residents of the land.

Matthew Miller, Jerusalem

Show me you want peace

I continue to seek someone to come forth with facts, I will even settle for one fact, which would indicate that the Palestinian leadership is prepared to live side by side in peace with Israel. Thus far, silence has been the answer.

Fatahs rally in Gaza is the most recent response to my request. Hamas allowed this Fatah rally as a gesture from Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh toward reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. There is no question that Hamas has no intention of recognizing Israel or that its intention is to destroy Israel.

Predicated upon the ease with which Hamas vanquished Fatah in their showdown in Gaza and the recent poll which unequivocally demonstrated that Haniyeh was more popular than Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas would call the tune if the two were to reunite.

I believe that the present Palestinian atmosphere precludes the possibility of real peace in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, irrespective of who represents the Palestinians.

William K. Langfan, Palm Beach, Florida