5/16/11

ISRAEL SPEAKS

ISRAEL SPEAKS
Sir, – As our prime minister prepares for his forthcoming visit to the US ("Big speech or big sleep," Diplomacy, May 13), I would urge him for the sake of his supporters who may be intimidated by the constant barrage of big lies that have become "conventional wisdom" to clearly state what I believe is the view of the overwhelming number of Israeli Jews.
We are not occupiers of anybody's land. State lands beyond the 1967 borders came into Israel's possession as the result of a defensive battle. Palestinians never owned these lands and Jordan has relinquished all claims.
Both from the point of view of international law and historical association, Israel has the strongest claim. Nevertheless, it stands ready to make accommodations for a Palestinian entity as a neighbor living in peace, mutual respect and cooperation.
Israel owes the Palestinians nothing. It is up to them to articulate their vision of statehood, their role in the region and their relationship with neighbors.
Should they do so they will find a generous response on the part of Israel.
Binyamin Netanyahu will never have a more sympathetic audience than AIPAC and the US Congress, nor a more auspicious time as the present. Let these words be heard, for they are the words of truth.
SHUBERT SPERO 
Jerusalem 

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