Two letters poles apart

The real blow is this

The most devastating blow against the two-state solution isn’t annexation, it’s the 20 years Palestinian leaders have wasted by continually refusing Israeli offers to create a Palestinian state or, since 2014, to even negotiate (“We should raise our voices against land grab by Israel”, The Age, 23/5).

Yasser Arafat said no to a state in July 2000.

Current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected an offer from Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, which came five days before he resigned the prime ministership and with Israel’s elections still a few months away, that included the equivalent of 100per cent of the West Bank, Gaza and a shared capital in Jerusalem in 2008. An offer the Palestinians were lucky to get, given how soon it followed the murder of 1000 Israelis in the Second Intifada.

Yes, Donald Trump’s peace plan – 70 per cent of the West Bank and no capital in Jerusalem – is far less than what the Palestinians could have had 12 years ago.

But these ongoing rejections – which Anas Iqtait and Tristan Dunning ignored – beg the question, what exactly are the Palestinians waiting for?

Danny Samuels, Malvern

A chance to remember

Your article about Israel’s plans for the West Bank gives us the opportunity to remember that in 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine without any consultation with Palestinians.

In 1948 the State of Israel was proclaimed unilaterally. Seventy-two years later, May 15, is commemorated by Palestinians as, “al-Nakba”, the “Day of Catastrophe”: Palestinians becoming refugees in their own land. In the same year, UN General Assembly Resolution 194 stated that refugees “wishing to … live at peace with their neighbours” must be allowed to return or be compensated: this resolution continues to be defied by Israel to this day. Thus for more than 72 years Palestinians have accumulated death, suffering and the abuse of their human rights.

Now the government of Israel is proposing to annex part of the West Bank – this is morally corrupt, as is the continued occupation of Palestine. As the article concludes: “When it comes to upholding international law and UN resolutions, Palestine should not be the exception.”

Judith Morrison, Mount Waverley

(These letters have published in The Age in response to an article that appeared over the previous weekend.)