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Letters to the Editor: Palestinian intransigence has forced Israel to consider annexing the West Bank

To the editor: I’d like to make two points in response to your reporting on Israel potentially annexing the West Bank.

First, annexation, wise or not, does not kill the two-state solution. The Palestinians’ refusals to accept the existence of Israel have done that and made annexation look like the only option. A serious change of heart, like that of then-Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in the 1970s, would open everything up again.

Second, Israeli control over the Jordan Valley has always been understood to be a strategic necessity for any lasting peace. What form it takes could emerge from negotiations — which, however, the Palestinian Authority steadfastly refuses.

Fred Baumann, Mount Vernon, Ohio

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To the editor: With Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo recently traveling to Israel, we have one crooked, illegitimate government administration playing to its base and making deals with the other in order to maintain power.

The Palestinian people, then, are the ones who must suffer the consequences, having to live under military occupation and apartheid rule.

Paul McDermott, Los Angeles

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To the editor: It bears repeating that Judea and Samaria (dubbed the “West Bank” during 19 years of illegal Jordanian occupation) have religious and historic importance to Jews, and strategic importance to Israel. The land was liberated only after Jordan allied with Egypt and Syria in a war instigated with the open intention of destroying Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his late predecessor Yasser Arafat flatly rejected Israeli proposals that should have led to the establishment of the state they claimed to want (even with the possibility of shared governance in parts of Jerusalem). Abbas rejected the plan formulated by President Trump prior to its release. Instead of negotiating, he incites his people to violence.

As with Trump’s moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Israel is signaling to the Palestinians that they can no longer expect everyone to bow to their intransigence.

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Toby F. Block, Atlanta


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