Letter: Middle East peace still alive

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The Independent Online
Sir: Robert Fisk has jumped the gun in proclaiming the Middle East peace process dead, and not for the first time (5 June). Since September 1993 he has informed your readers that the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations were about to collapse or had already done so. Despite his predictions, the admittedly fragile process took root and has created the beginnings of a very different Middle East.

The results of the Israeli elections are far more complex than a referendum on the peace process. Netanyahu campaigned on maintaining and implementing the Oslo agreement and so a vote for him is not a vote against the peace process. In the Knesset elections parties supporting the Oslo agreement won 64 seats out of 120.

In these circumstances the international community, including the European Union, has a major responsibility to act in every way to strengthen the dynamic towards peace in the region. This must mean increased economic assistance and diplomatic relations with the Palestinian National Authority and a creative relationship with the new Israeli government.

JOHN STRAWSON

School of Law

University of East London

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