When Netanyahu speaks before the UN at the time of the Durban III conference, he will turn the table on the Palestinians, making it clear to all which side is actually willing to take steps for peace. Recall that two years ago, Netanyahu, to the dismay of his own constituency, suspended building settlements for ten months. As expected, the Palestinian Authority did not take the opportunity to begin any peace negotiations.
One suspects that the Times’ editors will get many letters protesting their editorial view. They have the right to choose which ones to publish. But since their editorial singled out Mayor Koch, one would expect that were he to write a letter to the paper, his letter would get published. Today, Koch put on his personal blog the text of the letter he submitted to the paper. It follows here:
To The Editor:
The Times’ editorial of September 14, “Israel and New York’s Ninth District,” is disingenuous. It does not accurately state my reasons for having endorsed Republican Bob Turner. My purpose was to make President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party understand that they can no longer take the Jewish vote for granted. The security of the state of Israel is a major issue for that constituency.
I support the two-state solution. The President’s demand negotiations commence with the pre-1967 lines with swaps does not provide Israel with secure and defensible borders, but it would not have been the defining issue if he had also imposed conditions on the Palestinian Authority, including Hamas. The demands he should have made on the latter were set forth in my letter to the Times responding to an earlier editorial critical of Israel and of me which the Times published on September 7. That letter states, “that Hamas renounce terrorism before negotiations begin, and that Hamas amend its charter, which calls for the creation of an Islamic state in ‘Palestine’ and the obliteration of Israel. Hamas must accept the legitimacy of the state of Israel, and pledge in any peace settlement that it will accept Israel as a Jewish state. Finally, Israel must have defensible borders, and the homes of the 500,000 Jews beyond those lines in East Jerusalem and on the West Bank must remain part of Israel.”
I know the Times prides itself on a separation between news and editorials. But one would hope the editorial writers read the Times’ letter columns.
All the best.
Edward I. Koch
Mayor Koch has since been informed by the paper that it would not be publishing his letter. Recall that the editors always have the right to shorten the letter for reasons of space, and could have allowed the mayor to offer his rebuttal to their incorrect view of the reasons why Koch had endorsed Bob Turner. Evidently, accusing Koch of playing a “cynical game” is not enough reason to allow him to have space in which to respond.
Their actions make it clear that Prime Minister Netanyahu should hold no illusions about why the Times so consistently distorts his views, takes the side of and apologizes for the abysmal Abbas regime on the West Bank, and never lets its readers learn about the history of PLO intransigence. Perhaps the editorial staff of the paper might benefit from reading Sol Stern’s booklet which I wrote about yesterday, A Century of Palestinian Rejections and Jew Hatred. Why do I not think any of their editors will consider even looking at it?