Middle East mistrust

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By: Dr. Aref Assaf

Originally published in the Star-Ledger, 05/01/14

So the Israeli government is not happy the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, are reuniting the Palestinian house. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is terribly disingenuous when he tells Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to choose between peace with Israel and unity with Hamas.

Lasting peace was never a goal. Peace with Israel is not at hand. The “peace process” is being used to build more Jewish settlements on expropriated Palestinian lands. My hope is for Palestinians to unite their front. Since both accept the principle of land-for-peace, neither Israel nor its puppet, the U.S. Congress, should disapprove.

In the Israeli government today, there are ultra-extremist parties that are against any peace with Palestinians, and want to transfer Palestinians off their lands. But you don’t hear the United States or Palestinian National Authority calling for their removal. Neither the P.A. nor Hamas can alone deliver the Palestinians to the peace table. Live with it.

Aref Assaf, president, American Arab Forum, Paterson

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