A NEW York Times story quotes Secretary of State John Kerry (“Israel and Hamas reach truce, do little to resolve myriad issues,” Page A1, Aug. 27), speaking about the Gaza cease-fire, as affirming that Palestinians deserve “full economic and social opportunities to build better lives,” without mentioning freedom, independence, or the two-state solution to the conflict that is official American policy. Hopefully, Kerry is simply giving the parties a breather before resuming efforts to bring about serious peace talks.
Yes, Gazans and West Bank Palestinians deserve economic opportunity, and Israelis deserve security, but they all deserve more. Without Israel and a Palestinian state living peacefully side by side, Israel will continue its slide toward domestic authoritarianism and intolerance while sinking deeper into international isolation. The Palestinians will remain stateless, lacking human rights. To preclude this and to save lives, we need to make the two-state solution a reality.