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The barriers to Mideast peace

October 03, 2008

Re "Olmert says peace requires key Israeli concessions," Sept. 30

Many thanks for The Times' article on Ehud Olmert and the peace process, which demonstrated the complexity of the problem for politicians. Israel's parliamentary system results in coalitions that preclude frank confrontation of the occupation. The U.S. system of campaign financing, along with our sound-bite media, compel our politicians to stay in line rather than make real efforts to press for solutions.

The occupation must end before any hope for peace for Israel and for the region can exist. As long as the land is occupied, commerce and travel are constrained. As long as the wall is being built on occupied land, resentment and hatred can only increase.

George H.W. Bush built a coalition to go to war with Iraq on the basis of clear U.N. resolutions. In Israel's case, there are also U.N. resolutions insisting on withdrawal to the Green Line that defined pre-1967 boundaries. Lyndon Johnson and the rest of the world leaders of the time failed to press compliance, leaving every administration since, here and there, to continue living with the mess.

Craig A. Repp

Rancho Santa Margarita

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