Would a unified Israeli-Palestinian state work?
Regarding Ghada Karmi's May 30 Opinion piece, "The case for a one-state solution": Ms. Karmi's suggestion is highly untenable. Palestinians and Israelis have deep differences of ethnicity, religious beliefs, religious practices, and all aspects of cultural life. Despite its so-called Jewish identity, Israel is a modern liberal democracy that affords far more freedom and civil rights to its citizens than do the Palestinian territories or any other country in the whole Middle East.
Israel already has to do a tough job of assimilating Arab Israelis into the modern state. If Palestine and Israel are united it will cause an explosion because of conflicting interests and will certainly lead to civil wars. The goal of an independent, free, stable Palestine is much more feasible. Old wisdom says "good fences make good neighbors."
Once Palestinians have their own free state, they can maintain their distinct identity, invest their energies toward developing their own modern nation, and expect foreign investments and trade relations with the rest of the world, including Israel.
Christchurch, New Zealand
In response to Ghada Karmi's recent Opinion piece on a "one-state solution": The two-state "solution" has been a cruel one to the people of historic Palestine, and it has been a farce, for it has not been a solution at all. It's been yet another way to oppress, impoverish, and displace the native non-Jewish population of the Holy Land.
Simply respecting basic human rights would go a long way toward creating a just and lasting peace in that very troubled region. And it has to start with the people.
Anne Selden Annab
Regarding Ghada Karmi's recent Opinion piece: This promotion of an unworkable "one-state solution" or a binational state is simply an indirect attempt to bring about an end to the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.
The State of Israel was established to fulfill the nationalist aspirations of the Jewish people in their historic homeland, which Jews have inhabited for centuries. It is unrealistic and unacceptable to expect Israel to voluntarily subvert its own sovereign existence and nationalist identity. Ms. Karmi ignores efforts to resolve the Palestinian refugee issue in the context of a negotiated two-state solution, including Israel's willingness to consider participating in an international effort to resolve the situation.
Abraham H. Foxman
National director, Anti-Defamation League
End attacks from West Bank
Regarding the May 28 article, "West Bank cell service still on hold": The article ends with, "[telecom chief executive officer Allan] Richardson can't resist pitching his philosophy on the role of telecoms could play in the Mideast: 'You can't shoot a Kalashnikov if you are talking on a mobile.' That may be true, but how much will mobile phones facilitate attacks on Israel?
Thus far, nothing the Palestinians have done has inspired the least bit of trust. Let them eschew violence and see what happens. Let them have a government that will stop and punish those who rain rockets on Israel or send killers and kidnappers to assault Israelis. Let them stop their contemptible anti-Semitic propaganda.
If they were to do that, then Israel would have a partner for peace and would have to respond in kind. Until then, there is no reason for Israel to help Palestinians at all and considerable reason to be distrustful.
Respect low-energy nuclear reaction research
In response to the April 16 article, "Ultracapacitors: The future of electric cars or the 'cold fusion' of autovation?": The headline implies and perpetuates the myth that "cold fusion" research is a fantasy and a fraud.
I have spent the last eight years investigating "cold fusion" research, now known as low-energy nuclear reaction research. I have had the honor to meet and converse with its discoverers, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons. These scientists, and several hundred more in a dozen countries, cannot fully explain the phenomena they have observed over the last 19 years. But they have shown, with rigor and precision, evidence of new nuclear phenomena that appears environmentally benign.
They have held international scientific conferences nearly every year, and the next one will take place in Washington, D.C., in August. Their papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals, and their work has been funded by government agencies such as the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
This field has its share of promoters eager to shortcut the scientific process, but the bulk of the activity is scientific and should be recognized as such. The pejorative reference to this field is neither relevant nor justified.
Steven B. Krivit
San Rafael, Calif.
Executive director, New Energy Institute
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