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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace



Never Give Up Trying To Talk

Los Angeles Times

October 22, 2006

As an American Jewish leader, I believe that dialogue and negotiations are the only way forward toward peace. Will this be easy? Of course not. Will it succeed? We cannot know until we try. What we do know is that there are no military-only options to solving any angle of the complicated Middle East conflict, including the Syrian track. As a great Israeli general is reported to have said once, "We don't make peace with our friends, we make peace with our enemies."

I am disappointed to hear that the U.S. government might be hampering Israel's opportunity to open negotiations with one of its perennial enemies, which could in turn have a positive effect on negotiations with the Palestinians. We know that the current administration does not favor dialogue and negotiations, but that should not stop other governments from achieving a potentially peaceful solution to their problems.

If Syria is hinting that it wants to talk, what is there to lose in talking back? That is what diplomacy is all about, right? Let us not get dragged into the false view that diplomacy and negotiations are the way of the naive and weak.

Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater
Pasadena

The writer is the chairman of the L.A. chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom: The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace.

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