Jewish settlements furphy

Those who seek to give the Palestinians an excuse for their intransigence often exaggerate the significance of settlements. Thus we have David Rothfield (Letters, July 11) claiming settlements actually take up 36.6 per cent of the West Bank.

To reach this figure, he needs to include the municipal boundaries that are really irrelevant. The areas of the West Bank controlled by Israel are divided into the various councils for administrative purposes only, but are largely open land. There will be no impediment to making these areas part of a Palestinian state if there is a negotiated peace. The boundaries of the settlements themselves cover less than 2 per cent. He also includes new roads built for Israelis (not just Jews) because Palestinian terrorists had been shooting Israeli families driving on the existing roads.

As for the alleged Israeli bullying of Palestinians by demolishing their buildings and infrastructure, Israel does demolish when people, both Jews and Palestinians, build without permits, often on land that is not theirs. We do it here too, but here it’s called rule of law.

Danny Samuels, Malvern Vic (AFR – 12/7/17)