REGARDING THE article “US frets over Mideast allies’ relations: Stability at risk as Palestinians ready bid for statehood’’ (Page A4, Sept. 13): When Palestinians launched terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, they were rightly criticized for these violent acts. Now, they are seeking progress toward a Palestinian state through the peaceful means of appealing to the United Nations for recognition. Instead of being applauded for using peaceful means, the Palestinians’ appeal to the UN is being treated as a hostile, dangerous action. The United States threatens to veto the appeal and to cut off economic aid to Palestinians.
What are the Palestinians to make of this response? Some will see it as evidence that violence alone can work. Is that what Israel wants? Is it what the United States wants?
Why should the United States respond so negatively to the Palestinian initiative when doing this damages our own reputation and our relations with people in many countries of the world? If Congress is entirely indifferent to the Palestinians, that is bad enough. But are its members also indifferent to the interests of the United States? And do they not see that Israel too will be harmed by this rigid, hostile response to a peaceful effort?
The writer is a professor of philosophy at Northeastern University.