Letters to the Editor

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ISRAEL: U.S. Middle East policy hasn’t changed

Letter by Donald J. Fritz, Tacoma on May 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm | 13 Comments »
May 23, 2011 3:14 pm

Re: “Article omitted Obama’s bombshell” (letter, 5-21).

Perhaps the writer is too young to remember that all U.S. presidents since Jimmy Carter have supported United Nations Resolution 242 that calls for a Palestine peace settlement based on the de facto borders between Israel and the Palestinians in 1967 – just prior to the June 1967 “Six-day War.”

Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, however, have supported land swaps for mutually agreed border adjustments that would keep constant the balance of land held by the two parties to a peace agreement.

This would permit Israel to maintain many, perhaps even most, of its West Bank settlements, while the Palestinians would gain a land corridor connecting Gaza with the West Bank, and perhaps also a larger Gazan area.

During Clinton’s final year in office (2000), official negotiations at Taba, Egypt, came close to completing an agreement, so close that negotiators continued as private parties in Geneva in 2001, producing the “Geneva Accord” and then asked that that accord provide an official basis for achieving agreement.

My own view is that Israel and the Palestinians should take a “Gaza-first” approach, since Israeli settlements were removed from Gaza in 2005, and therefore no real impediment exists to forming a Palestinian state there. However, a new Gazan government would be needed, one that accepts Israel’s right to exist in perpetuity.

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