On October 4th, the Star Tribune ran a letter to the editor from Florence Steichen of St. Paul – titled “U.S., Israel should back Saudi-inspired plan” – promoting the Saudi Peace Plan (from back in 2002) as the solution that the United States and Israel should pursue for the Israeli-Arab peace process.
Ms. Steichen’s letter was full of so many factual inaccuracies and misleading omissions, that I couldn’t help myself, and had to submit a letter in response.
As of the time I’m writing this, I don’t know whether the paper will actually publish my letter, but I wanted to share that letter with you, in case any of you are Star Tribune readers, and enjoy some actual facts with your political rhetoric.
Submitted by me to the Star Tribune on October 5th, 2010:
Florence Steichen’s October 4, 2010 letter, “U.S., Israel should back Saudi-inspired plan,” is full of factual inaccuracies which mislead the reader. The 2002 Saudi peace plan was seen by many, as a positive first step, in that an Arab state was reaching out to assist in the brokerage of an Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Clearly, any peace plan is not as simple as laid out in this letter. The Saudi plan calls on Israel to withdraw from all territories occupied since 1967. Any final status agreement will include some land swaps to create logical, defensible borders for both states — to think otherwise is unrealistic for either party.
This letter also failed to note that only 10 of the 22 invited parties actually attended the 2002 conference. In fact, the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, and Jordan (all crucial partners in this effort) were all notably absent.
Lastly, Ms. Steichen incorrectly noted that the terrorist organization Hamas has agreed to this settlement — in fact, they have outright REJECTED it, as noted in TIME Magazine, January 8, 2009. Moreover, Hamas continues to repeatedly reject all solutions that do not result in Israel’s destruction, and in fact had perpetrated the devastating “Passover Massacre” just days after the Saudi peace plan was announced, making their intentions crystal clear to all who cared to listen. The Saudis have yet to address how they intend to rein in the murderous terrorism of Hamas.