Lara Friedman is taken aback that her desire for peace found no match at the Arab League’s Conference on Jerusalem, manifest by rejection of any Jewish claim to that city (“Jerusalem Isn’t Just for Arabs, Either,” March 9).
Israel’s conflict with the Arabs has never been about Jerusalem. Since the United Nations approved partition in 1947, an Arab Palestinian state has been repeatedly presented but rejected — since it required accepting a Jewish Israel, albeit with Arab civil and religious rights not available to Jews or Christians — or even Arabs — elsewhere in the region. Too weak to win on the battlefield, the Oslo process was war by diplomatic means, a staged path toward Israel’s destruction, which is why the fabricated “right of return” was always the Arab “red line.” The real amazement is not what Friedman heard Arabs say to each other, words they usually avoid before delusional westerners, who desperately want to believe peace will come. It is that after 65 years of Arabs rejecting any peace that leaves Israel intact, she was surprised.
John R. Cohn