Re "The need is urgent for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians" (Viewpoints, Dec. 7): Brian Landsberg's opinion piece clearly illustrates the need for both Israel and the Palestinians to hammer out a peace agreement. It should be mentioned that the Gaza Strip is controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization, which refuses to sign a reconciliation agreement with Fatah, which controls the Palestinian Authority. Until that occurs, it is unlikely that there can ever be a unified Palestinian state. But both groups do agree on their refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. I agree with Landsberg's desire for a peace agreement. But to see that reality, the United States needs to persuade the Palestinians to reconcile with each other and acknowledge Israel's right to exist. No country should be expected to negotiate a peace settlement with another country sworn to its destruction.
-- Rabbi Reuven Taff, Sacramento