Opinion

Opinion: How religious fundamentalism hinders Mideast peace

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech during a rally marking the 12th anniversary of
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Nov. 10, 2016.
(Fadi Arouri/Xinhua /TNS)

To the editor: The most important thing about Oded Ravivi’s op-ed article is that it refers to the West Bank as Judea and Samaria. This reference is the key to why there will never be peace in Palestine while the right-wing Likud and religious parties rule Israel. (“Why opening the White House doors to Mahmoud Abbas is a losing proposition for Mideast peace,” Opinion, May 3)

Judea and Samaria are Old Testament names for the area now generally called the West Bank. The Old Testament says they were given by God to the Israeli people. For persons who believe in the truth of this Old Testament writing, it is sacrilege to give up Judea and Samaria as part of a peace deal. This is the reason why then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli in 1995.

Ravini refers to “the Israeli city of Efrat,” but Efrat is not an Israeli city. Under international law, it is one of the many illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Under the 1947 United Nations partition that created Israel, the West Bank belongs to the Palestinian people, and until it is returned to them in peace negotiations, there will be no peace.

Terrence R. Dunn, Bakersfield

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