LETTER: Fair dealing essential for Middle East peace

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The Independent Online
Sir: Robert Fisk asserts that "there will be no Middle East peace without justice" (Opinion, 9 February). He is right, but I hope those in negotiation will have the courage and foresight to negotiate all aspects of their engagement.

This is an early point and it is unsurprising that details such as the "right of return" or "settlements" were not discussed at Sharm el-Sheikh. Robert Fisk, despite his acclaimed objectivity, only seems to address those things dear to Palestinians - why did he not look also at Israeli concerns, fears, needs?

Clearly, the Palestinians have their requirements and so, too, do the Israelis. Some of those requirements may be at odds and that is where real statesmen come into their own and recognise that they may have to compromise. The Palestinian "right of return" for example. Who has identified that as a right? Is it negotiable? If there are two states, why would such a right need to be invoked?

Settlements, about which Robert Fisk makes much play, are clearly something which need to be negotiated away as part of a wider agreement as they are, in my view, as much at odds with the establishment of a Palestinian state as is the right of return at odds with the future of an Israeli one. That is objectivity.

ROWEL SAMUELS

Harrow, Middlesex

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