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letters | a path to peace?

Release of Palestinian prisoners no way to usher in talks

Reading the article “Israel votes to free 104 Palestinian prisoners” (Page A2, July 29), I couldn’t help but wonder what our reaction would be here in America if an enemy insisted we free Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev before they would talk with us about peace.

The fact that Israel agreed to free 104 Palestinian prisoners, many of them responsible for even worse atrocities than those of which Tsarnaev is accused, just to induce the Palestinian Arabs to sit down and talk, knowing that some of those freed terrorists will almost certainly try to murder even more innocent Israelis, tells a lot about the high priority Israelis — even so-called hard-liners such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — give to peace.

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The fact that the so-called moderate leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, insisted on the release of so many terrorists before he’d even pretend to negotiate also tells a lot about his disinterest in peace.

The way our government pressured Israel to release those terrorists illustrates that we still do not understand the dynamics at play. It shows that we are likely to continue policies that have proved to be counterproductive and, in this case, shameful.

Alan Stein

Natick

The writer is president emeritus of PRIMER-Connecticut (Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting).

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