Competing visions for peace in Israel and Palestinian territories

Regarding the Nov. 27 article, "Israeli-Palestinian talks may follow truce": I believe this truce has a lot to do with the realization that, as Prof. Bassam Ezbeidi of Bir Zeit University put it, "old views and old opinions haven't born any fruits" – for the Palestinians, especially. Palestinians long supported viewpoints that were rooted in the conflict in 1948. And in the past, they rejected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's approach of using negotiations to achieve realistic Palestinian objectives. Hamas and other militant groups placed themselves and their people in a downward spiral of violence.

Now, the world has to realize that the simple act of Palestinian militants abandoning terror is not compromise. In order to achieve true peace, the Palestinians are going to have to compromise long-held positions, such as asking Israel to return to the borders it had before the 1967 war.

An acceptance of the sovereign state of Israel must include major settlement areas. The holy city of Jerusalem must be given special status. A realistic view of Israel must be seen. The Palestinians can blossom, but they must give up old myths.
Moses Mordecai Twersky
Providence, R.I.

Regarding your Nov. 15 editorial, "Exiting Iraq with 'help' from Iran": I've been praying that our government will realize that peace and stability in the Middle East, including Iraq, will involve two new directions: direct dialogue with Iran and Syria and positive disengagement with Israel.

Positive disengagement is a risky and radical step, but, if applied correctly, it could provide a breakthrough to peace in the Middle East and long-term security for Israel.

Your Nov. 15 editorial stated: "...Israel cannot damage US interests in the region by clinging to Jewish settlements in the West Bank or its hold on the Golan Heights, taken from Syria." Under positive disengagement, the US would put Israel on notice that all financial and military aid would be suspended until Israel unilaterally returns to the pre-1967 "Green Line" borders.

We in the US recognize Israel's right to survive in peace. Israel is our ally, but there comes a time when exercising tough love is appropriate.

With disengagement, the ball would then be in Israel's court. It may comply quickly, or it may take a very long time.

But at least during that time, the US will have disengaged itself and will be able to pursue more normal relations with other Arab countries.

We want our ally, Israel, to experience, for the first time, a real peace with its neighbors. Disengagement is the first step to achieving that goal.
Bud Carlson
Freeport, Maine

Ads should identify products

The Nov. 29 article, "Microsoft's muscle hasn't helped Zune," leaves out one thing that's wrong with Microsoft's new product: The marketing is abysmal.

A few nights ago, I took my family to the movies and suffered through a 60-second advertisement for? A lifestyle? Happiness in the park? Break dancing? Sunshine? Oh, but there was this thing everybody in the commercial had in one hand. The ad ended with the word "Zune" – that's all.

Nothing explained what the product was, or why I would want one. And I still didn't know what a Zune was until I picked up a copy of the Monitor and read the article about it. (It's an MP3 player similar to Apple's iPod.)
Matt Osborne
Florence, Ala.

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