Re: the April 15 article, "Bush backs Sharon plan: President says Israel should be able to keep parts of West Bank."
In granting Ariel Sharon and Israeli settlers the right to annex Palestinian territory, George Bush is acting in the same manner as Arthur Balfour did in 1917. Those who do not own give a free, generous gift to those who are not entitled. The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza are under oppressive illegal Israeli occupation that has been allowed to stand for 37 years in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions. Full Israeli withdrawal is an imperative requiring no negotiation.
Bush's statement, "Major Israeli population centres make it 'unrealistic to expect . . . a full and complete return' to the pre-war borders" is a licence for renewed Israeli expansionism in neighbouring Arab territories to create new realities . The settlements are illegal and stand in violation of Security Council resolution 465, of 1980, and the the Fourth Geneva Convention. For interest, the armistice lines of 1949 are, in themselves, illegitimate and in violation of the UN resolution 181 of 1947.
The right of return for the Palestinian refugees to their homes, which Mr. Bush chooses to annul, is an inalienable right fully affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and repeated UN resolutions.
Ismail Zayid, president,
Canada Palestine Association,