homethe negotiationsparallel realitiestimelinediscussion
photo of sharon at the temple mountphoto of celebrating palestinansphoto of a child making a peace signJoin the Discussion: How bleak is the future? Can the peace process be restarted? What will it take?


Dear FRONTLINE,

Congratulations on presenting an unprecedented documentary of the peace process. It was an honest, albeit wrenching, look at the steep highs and sunken lows of the past ten years.

I must preface my comment with the adage "Hindsight is always 20/20." In the beginning of the peace process, when Hamas threatened to topple the fragile detente, why didn't former President Clinton offer to send in US or UN Peace-Keeping Troops to the region, to quash Hamas? Clinton often remarked how the extremists could derail the peace effort, but I think he failed by not rallying the UN and Congress to send troops into the region. In my opinion, it seems Clinton missed the same opportunity in the Middle East that he took in Bosnia.

The documentary made it evident that since its inception, the peace process has been continuously derailed by the extremists on both sides. Clinton was smart enough to realize this point, but too weak to offer military strength to punish Hamas and Hezbollah.

Jonathan Carr
charlotte, nc


Dear FRONTLINE,

Kudos to your producers for presenting such an informative documentary on the Arab-Israeli conflict. However, I must point out the blatant liberal bias that permeated the presentation. Throughout the program, Palestinian pain and suffering, as well as, Palestinian funerals were consistently shown. The program failed to show one funeral of an Israeli soldier or any of the victims of the numerous homocide bombings. It is astounding how the Palestians were consistently portrayed as victims and how the homocide bombings against the Israelis were presented as matter of fact. Hopefully, your future programs will be more fair and balanced.

Chuck McNally
drexel hill, pa


Dear FRONTLINE,

After seeing this I can't understand how Bush can ask Arafat to step down... It is obvious that Sharon started this whole thing and that Sharon is the one destroying peace hopes.

William Savard
burlington, vermont


Dear FRONTLINE,

Absolutely splendid program. Thanks for the balanced approach to reporting this very complicated situation.

woodbridge, virginia


Dear FRONTLINE,

As a middleschool teacher of current Mideast events, I bridled at what I considered unfair blame put on the Israelis in your documentary. As I watched further, I did learn a lot that I didn't know about the various secret negotiations and how heartbreakingly close they came to peace at times.

However, Sharon's insistance on going to the Temple on the Mount at such a sensitive time, Bush's "hands-off" policy, and Arafat's decent further into deceit and terrorism make me feel that there will never be peace. If Bush were still around, I might hold out for hope.

lakewood, ca.


Dear FRONTLINE,

What a heart wrenching portrayal of inocent people on both sides being killed for the greater aspirations of political gain. Arafat, the puppet has to go. This bumbling fool has been the road block to peace long enough.

van nuys, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

Israeli terrorism was not mentioned at all. Dr. Baruch Goldstein, a medical doctor from NY, who was a an Israeli settler, went on a shooting spree of Palestinian worshipers in a Hebron mosque, killing 29 in 1994.

In retaliation, a suicide bomber struck, and an era of terror was born. (That was the first suicide bomber to strike in Israel) Naom Friedman, another Hebron settler, went on a shooting spree in a Hebron market shooting down 8 palestinians as they shopped, befor his M16 jammed. He was declared a nut case. Two months later, he was cured and free to roam the west bank again!

Again, thank you for a good piece of journalism, they have become few and far between!

E. Hreish
livermore, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

Your in depth look into the Israeli/Palestinian conflict was informative and objective. Though, I beleive there were certain details you forgot to mention. One of them being the reason some people do not trust Arafat. In the 60's and 70's, Arafat was a known terrorist, who led attacks on buildings and hijacking of airplanes. To not mention this does not allow othre the viewers a better knowledge of the Isaeli's side of the story. They have no faith in Arafat and ever since he won the Nobel Peace prize, they have no faith in the rest of the world.

As for me, I don't beleive the conflict will be solved with a handshake, reather with weapons, and may the strongest win.

los angeles, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

Your diligent journalism is greatly appreciated. The illumination of the personalities involved made your piece extremely educational. America has seen the carnage in the Middle East and unfortunately has become a bit desensitized; this work of yours hopefully will bring more "moderate" people into the dialogue.

javier gutierrez
san francisco, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

Fascinating documentary, that covered a lot of ground. It would have been useful to take a few seconds, however, to explain that there was no point at which Arafat and the organs of the Palestinian Authority ever stopped calling for violence against Jews.

I was in Israel in the months before the start of the current intifada -- in the midst of the peace talks -- and saw daily Palestinian Authority broadcasts invoking people to kill Israelis.

That said, one must keep trying to make peace.

sharon k.
new york, new york


Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for presenting this very important and timely documentary. I have had the great honor of meeting Benjamin Netanyahu shortly after he was out of office. I was very impressed with him and feel if given the chance, he holds the key to bringing lasting peace to this region. It can never happen with the current leadership.

Let's hope he has another chance to change the course of this region's history for the good of all mankind.

sacramento, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

I thought this documentary was extremely well-done. It did not speculate or analyze, it got direct statements from the only people whose opinions matter, the real players (negotiators, officials, leaders..etc).

It wasn't biased in the least, it gave a fair explanation of what went wrong at Camp David and the ensuing violence resulting from Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount. Although I am an avid follower of the Middle East conflict, this program still taught me things I had not known before. For example, how Arafat begged Ehud Barak to not allow Sharon to visit the Temple Mount at such a sensitive time.

The most heart-breaking portion for me was seeing how they were so very close at the talks in Taba but then ran out of time, and now we are left with the current dire situation.

Eric Cottrill
los angeles, california


Dear FRONTLINE,

A fine overview of the vexing dilemma of two passionate peoples constantly putting principles and exclusive dreams ahead of the feasible option of actually living into old age side by side. I've been to Israel/Palestine twice and talked with many on both sides.

It is heart-breaking to see how quickly they will resort to killing one another when faced with the desparate need to live as neighbors.

M. Hilditch
coeur d'alene, id


Dear FRONTLINE,

Although Arafat is not a "presidential" leader, he is an idol for the Palestinian people. For the U.S. to officially denounce him, only gives the radicals more fuel for their fire. It is wrong. He is the elected official and is the one we must work with.

It appears that Sharon has worked long and hard to be "in control" of the military and crush the PLO once and for all. It is not in the best interest of the U.S. or the world to help this man carry out his life long ambition. It is the citizens of the U.S. and our children who will feel the repercussions of his evil actions. It is the responsibility of our leaders to stand up for what is morally right. Supporting Israel in its current siege and zest for oppression and blood is wrong.

Thank you Frontline for doing such a great job at portraying both sides of this story. A huge success at filming Palestinians that tell their side well.

portland, oregon


Dear FRONTLINE,

Bravo to PBS and to Frontline for yet another fascinating and revealing documentary piece. You gave us a play by play behind-the-scenes look that was truly unbiased.

If there is to be a future of true democracy in this country, programs such as Frontline will play a critical role. Keep up the important work you do, and don't sell out to anybody!

Gina Asulin
scottsdale, arizona

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