We need the civil center
“Solving problems with Nancy Jacobson” (The Last Word, Feb.27) included the statement “critics, especially on the left, who say that No Labels and the Problem Solvers Caucus are fronts for monied interests seeking to pull the Democratic Party to the right.”
Of course No Labels is trying to pull the Democratic Party to the right. That’s their stated purpose, along with pulling the Republican Party to the left. Just as all extremists fail to understand rational people, extreme left and right wingers always fail to understand the center.
As the Republican Party moves further right while the Democrats move further left, our society becomes increasingly uncivil. We desperately need more efforts like No Labels if we are to survive as a democracy.
Not all failed peace plans are the same
Aaron David Miller’s “I’m a veteran Middle East negotiator. Trump’s plan is the most dangerous I’ve ever seen” (Voices, March 5) about the Trump administration not being a good enough “lawyer” for the Palestinians draws the wrong conclusions. Going back to 1937 and the British Peel Commission Plan, it appears that the British, U.N., Americans, Israelis and others have all “failed” to be “honest brokers,” “even-handed” and represent the real interests and needs of the Palestinians.
Perhaps their so-called client has not been forthright and told their broker-lawyers what their real wishes are, resulting in the 83-year failure of diplomacy, by people such Mr. Miller.
The fact that Trump’s plan will also no doubt end in failure is thus not unique. What is unique is that Trump has the courage of trying something different or “dangerous” in Miller’s thinking, which has one result of letting the Palestinians know that there is a price for not being forthright. To try and get different results by repeatedly doing the same thing is one definition of insanity, or at least ignorance. Being the veteran Miller says he is, at a minimum he should understand this.
KENNETH M. DAVIS
A 30-year Purim peace parody
For more than 30 years, Aaron David Miller (“I’m a veteran Middle East negotiator. Trump’s plan is the most dangerous I’ve ever seen,” Voices, March 5) and other two-state solution advocates have made the fundamental mistake that Saul Golubcow cautions against in his cogent Voices article “Make no mistake — we are Mordechai, not Haman” (March 5).
Mr. Miller: Israel is Mordechai and the two rival Palestinian factions, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, are Haman. You and your fellow liberal Democrats have it the wrong way around, and have been conducting a non-stop Purimspiel parody on the so-called peace process for far too long.
On the other hand, the ultimate deal recently developed by President Donald Trump’s peace team is based on the stark reality of the hundred-year Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel is a member state of the U.N.; the grouping of Palestinian Arabs is not. The Palestinian Arabs have never been recognized as a legitimate nation-state under international law. Thus, any peace deal cannot be based on your false premise that Israel and a fictional state of Palestine have equal standing.
Trump’s peace negotiators have succeeded in fashioning a reality-based peace deal that preserves Israel’s national interests and security, respects the civil rights of Palestinians and, at the same time, has found favor with neighboring Sunni Arab nations.
It is now up to the Palestinians to institute a sea change in their corrupt society in order to become worthy peace partners.
MARC L. CAROFF
EDITOR’S NOTE: Aaron David Miller noted in his piece that he worked on teams of Democratic and Republican presidents, including George H.W. Bush and Bill