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Letters to the Editor – Weekly Issue of May 23, 2011

Readers write in with reflections on the Monitor's commentary series 'Peace Within Reach' about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Peace within reach?

The April 25, 2011, issue featured three commentaries regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ("Peace Within Reach"). I agree with all three writers – Sandy Tolan, Yossi Beilin, and George Moffett – and hope their analyses for a peaceful future can be realized.

However, they all miss what I see as the one essential point: This situation was and is being manipulated by the autocratic regimes of the region – what Natan Sharansky calls "fear societies." These regimes need an outside enemy for their people to fear as an excuse to maintain their own power. Israel is their scapegoat and the Palestinians are their cannon fodder.

We can only hope the recent unrest in the Middle East will result in the establishment of democratic regimes and an end to "fear societies."


Mr. Tolan describes a fantasy situation in Israel with no checkpoints and eventually no wall ("For Arab and Jew, a new beginning"). This is a marvelous but utopian idea. The wall and the check sites have been created out of necessity to protect Israeli Jews from terrorist actions, especially suicide bombers. To have the "fruits" Tolan describes, Muslim clerics must stop teaching children to be suicide bombers.


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