From: Ismail Zayid
To: Guardian Weekly
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2001 2:14 PM
Subject: To solve the problem at its roots.

The Editor,
The Guardian Weekly.
17 May, 2001
Dear Editor:
David Grossman, in his article: { "Israelis and Palestinians must rediscover a belief in peace" May,17} makes a number of statements, that deserve attention. He states: "Most of them [Israelis] now believe that it [the peace process] was a mirage from the start". That is perfectly correct. The Oslo agreement was basically flawed. For Arafat to accept that the fundamental issues of the future of Jerusalem, the settlements, the borders and the fate of the refugees, are negotiable, by assigning them to the final stage of the negotiations, is incredible. This is the mirage that Rabin and Peres set for the Palestinians.
Mr. Grossman refers to a need for an " attempt to solve the problem at it its roots". This is the essence of a reasonable peace process. The roots of the problem are evident to any fair-minded person. The roots of the problem go back to the dispossession of the Palestinian people and uprooting them from their homeland. This is compounded by the Israeli illegal occupation of Palestinian territory that has been allowed to stand for 34 years, in defiance of international law and repeated Security Council resolutions, associated with the most brutal violations of human rights.
Mr. Grossman states that : " Israel has the obligation to make the larger concessions in negotiations". The truth of the matter is that all Israel should be required to do is simple compliance with international law , by complete withdrawal from the illegally occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, and allow the refugees to practice their right of return to their homes, in compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN resolution # 194. This may require the "heavy international pressure" that Mr. Grossman refers to, but this is overdue.
Yours sincerely
Ismail Zayid, MD.