Letter to the Editor: Dialogue requires honesty

Erik Baker

The vacuously centrist rhetoric of the Northwestern Coalition for Peace’s recent letter to the editor conceals two significant factual distortions that ought to be corrected.

First, the authors imply that the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip ceased with the 2005 military withdrawal. In fact, the United Nations Security Council and the UN General Assembly continue to designate Israel as an occupying power in Gaza because Israel retains control of Gaza’s airspace and coastline. With a restrictive Israeli blockade entering its eighth year, it’s incredibly misleading to suggest that Gaza has enjoyed autonomy free from occupation since 2005.

Second, the authors wrongly assert that the Palestinian Authority rejected the plan proposed by Ehud Olmert during peace talks with PA president Mahmoud Abbas in 2008. Actually, Olmert has told New York Times journalist Bernard Avishai that Abbas never directly rejected the Olmert plan. Avishai said the talks fell apart instead due to a failure of United States leadership to guide the last few points of difference to a reconciliation.

Deliberate misrepresentation of the facts does not engender the sort of “dialogue” that the NU Coalition for Peace ostensibly espouses.

Erik Baker
Weinberg ’16