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Primary issues: Israel's defense is important

It is accepted doctrine that the 2012 election, particularly for President, will be about the economy. But foreign policy, toward both friend and foe of America, is overlooked at our peril. In one of the most troubled areas of the world, Israel remains America's staunchest ally and friend.

We hope New Hampshire voters will bear this very much in mind as they question and assay the Republican field in our upcoming primary, which we hope is still a few months off.

In that regard, we recommend as a must-read last Sunday's column by Charles Krauthammer, who assembles clearly and convincingly the list of bold peace offerings that Israel has made, just in the last decade, and their repeated and utter rejection by Palestinians. (In fact, the Jews were willing to live in adjoining states under the 1948 UN mandate. Instead, the Palestinians and their Arab neighbors went to war, hoping to eradicate the Jews.)

Krauthammer asks and answers the question as to why Palestinian leaders have constantly said no to a permanent peace agreement.

&#';Because saying yes would have required them to sign a final peace agreement that accepted a Jewish state on what they consider the Muslim patrimony.&#';

The key word, he writes, is &#';final.&#'; He notes the Palestinians are quite pepared to sign interim agreements, as they have. &#';Anything but a treaty that ends the conflict once and for all — while leaving a Jewish state still standing.&#';

Unless and until the Palestinians formally accept the right of Israel to exist, Israel would be insane to even sit down at the table again. And Americans would be crazy to desert them.

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