Like letter writer Robert Goldman (June 8), I, too, was elated that Israel prevailed in the Six Day War.

However, the consequence of that victory has been a 50-year occupation of the West Bank and control of Gaza. The 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank lack the right to self-determination, live in miserable conditions and face degradation when they approach checkpoints and have their lands disposed of. There are another 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Years ago, I wrote in the pages of this newspaper that the status quo of the occupation is unacceptable and that a solution to the conflict must be based on mutual recognition of self-determination for two peoples in two states. I still believe that.

Call me a delusional optimist or any number of names if you must, but I firmly believe that Israelis and Palestinians are finding their way to peace and mutual respect through organizations like Combatants for Peace, Women Wage Peace, the Palestine-Israel Journal and many others.

I have an Israeli Arab Facebook friend. I often see him pictured at peace rallies. On Israel Independence Day he posted two flags: an Israeli and Palestinian flag. His comment was “I celebrate the state of Israel and the soon-to-be state of Palestine.”

I remain an optimist.

Harlan Baker

Portland