Letters to the Editor

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ISRAEL: Negotiate end of occupation

Letter by Donald J. Fritz, Tacoma on Aug. 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm | 1 Comment »
August 24, 2010 3:49 pm

George Will (column, 8-24) wonders what Israeli and Palestinians need to negotiate.

He is correct that current Israeli occupation of West Bank is legal under international law, but only to a point. It is not legal for occupation to be in perpetuity, nor for the occupying power to permanently make use for its own purposes of any portion of occupied territory.

United Nations membership requires that no member acquire territory through force of arms. All U.S. administrations, whether Republican or Democrat, have agreed that Palestinian lands must eventually be returned to Palestinians, with the possible exception that land trades might be negotiated.

For example, Palestinians would like a land corridor linking Gaza and the West Bank, and therefore might be amenable to some West Bank settlements being made permanent.

Regarding the “binational” option, Israel already has a million Arab citizens and might accept more, but Jewish majority in Israel is not negotiable. The best negotiation approach might be to concentrate on Gaza first, since no Israelis remain there.

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