As stated in the Perspectives commentary “The Blame-Israel Game” (Jan. 7), Israel should not be blamed for long-standing conflicts between Shiites and Sunnis. These sectarian battles are deeply rooted and confounding to Americans. But there is plenty of blame to be directed toward Israel for the spread of worldwide terrorism and hatred toward America.
Captured terrorists around the world often cite America’s blind support of Israel as the catalyst for their criminal jihad. Israel has also taken a page out of George W. Bush’s book of obfuscation and smokescreen. By exaggerating the nuclear threat from Iran, and undercutting the first overtures to normalize relations with Iran in 35 years, Israel directed attention away from John Kerry’s peace diplomacy. The clear intent is to stall and defeat the peace talks.
Let’s cut to the chase. Israel’s recent announcement of new settlement expansion is a thumb in the eye of John Kerry’s peace efforts. Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration does not want peace, only control. The status quo is working fine for Israel and it looks like it can continue indefinitely. Naftali Bennett, Mr. Netanyahu’s minister of economics, said recently that “we will never agree to give up a unified Jerusalem” and will “never accept an agreement based on the 1967 lines.”
The window for peace between Israelis and Palestinians is closing. And, yes, Israel should own some of the blame if these peace talks fail.