Ross Mackenzie

BUT LIFE is so hard for the Palestinians! They have rights and entitlements like everyone else. They need their own country. They need jobs. They need liberation from Israeli oppression.

They can meet all those needs, have all those things, if they will get over their hatred of Jews. For the Palestinians, making demands of the Israelis for the return of lands lost to them in war has proved a zero-sum game. Why not try a more productive approach?

It's as though you were to wage war to take away my back yard, and the result of your war was not to win mine but to lose yours. And now you demand the return of your back yard (an area you wouldn't have lost if you hadn't waged and lost a war to take mine) from an enemy you hate so much you won't even admit its existence -- will barely utter its name.

Israel would be nothing without American support.

A prudent America does not diss its friends. Israel ranks among America's most steadfast friends in the world, and its best friend in the Middle East -- an outpost of civilization in an otherwise desolate wilderness. It's not for nothing polls show Americans -- everyday, in-the-street Americans -- overwhelmingly pro-Israel.

THE U.S. could solve practically everything by recognizing a Palestinian state unilaterally, on its own.

Why should the U.S. recognize a Palestinian state unilaterally when the Palestinians won't unilaterally (or certain Arab regimes multi-laterally) recognize Israel?

Israel needs to allow negotiations to work.

The Palestinians need to disabuse themselves of the notion that 'what's mine is mine and what's yours' is negotiable. They issue demands for their lost lands without offering anything in return.

They don't have anything to offer -- destitute of property as they are, and devoid of any land.

On the contrary, they have a great deal to offer -- recognition of Israel, acts of kindness, pledges of peace: no acts of terror, no rocket attacks, no bombings of innocents, no conspiring for war again to rub Israel out. Getting most of the West Bank back would require little more than that.

It's too much.

It's very little.

You refuse to understand.

Or maybe, as with the Israelis, understand too well.

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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