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December 5, 2012

Another View: As long as Israel builds settlements, there's no chance for peace

By R. JOHN WUESTHOFF

We are ill-served by Jerusalem Post editor David Brinn's conclusion ("Terrorists' actions under the radar until Israel forced to react," Nov. 20) that at "some point not far down the line the situation (in Gaza) will repeat itself," presenting, by inference, no solution but Israeli military retaliation.

Overlooked is a two-state solution, ending the occupation and removing the settlements. The latter is likely too discomforting for Mr. Brinn to address, for what he refers to as "my suburb of Jerusalem" is the large West Bank Israeli settlement of Ma-aleh Adumin, which is illegal under the Geneva Convention. The relevant Geneva provision, Article 49, was adopted to counter a World War II practice used for political, racial or colonization purposes.

According to the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, "as of the end of 2009, there are 124 Israeli settlements in the West Bank and another 100 or so 'outposts' scattered throughout the West Bank."

The Israelis have established 12 large settlements in East Jerusalem alone. According to the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, there are close to half a million Israeli settlers in the occupied territories.

Removal of Mr. Brinn's "suburb" could result in his displacement but hardly with the drastic consequences experienced by the Palestinian displacement of 1948.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 446 (1979) determined "that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."

Former Sen. George Mitchell and President Obama provided Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a solution he adamantly refused -- reduce the obstruction to achieving a just and lasting peace by committing to cease building or expanding the illegal settlements and proceeding to negotiate a fair and just settlement with the Palestinians.

R. John Wuesthoff is a resident of Portland.





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