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letters | israel’s rocky reputation

Compromise key to Israel remaining ‘democratic and free’

Jeff Jacoby’s argument in “Peace process harmed Israel’s reputation” (Op-ed, May 23) is perplexing. He says that Israel’s generous offers for peace make it seem “weak,” and argues that Israel is perceived as a “Goliath” and a “thief.” Even if this premise is true, the conclusion doesn’t logically follow.

If Israel is to remain “robustly democratic and free,” it cannot maintain a situation in which one-third of its residents — namely Palestinians — are rigorously policed by Israel, yet cannot vote in Israeli elections. The intellectual inconsistency and material cost of the occupation become only more obvious over time as the Palestinian population grows at a faster rate.

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If these two peoples do not wish to share a democracy, let them form two separate democratic nations.

Neither side is blameless for decades of conflict. A corrective first step would be to cease assuming that all compromises are “concessions,” and instead begin to see that negotiating new relationships can lead to win-win solutions.

Tucker Lieberman


The writer is a member of the steering committee of J Street Boston.

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