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What Rice can do for Mideast peace

January 17, 2007

Re "Rice gets earful on Mideast peace," Jan. 15

As an Israeli-born American citizen, it encourages me to see Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice go to my beleaguered Israel-Palestine region, because every time she does, she creates a movement toward a positive solution.

Although there are new problematic developments daily, the basic issues remain the same. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and Israel's economic siege of Gaza are obstacles to peace, as are the continual Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel. Rice must use the influence of the U.S. to push the parties to feel comfortable removing these obstacles.

That is easy to say but very difficult to accomplish. One tool that Rice should use is the power of the purse. The U.S. gives Israel billions each year. I urge Rice to make those funds contingent on the parties making progress toward peace.

DANAH EZEKIEL CLARK

Venice

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