In his letter (Jan. 14), Munib Masri asserts that Jewish residential communities, "settlements" in his words, undermine a peaceful solution to the the conflict between Israel and the Arabs of Palestine. This is predicated on an illogical approach to the causes of the conflict.
Prior to 1967, there were no Jews living in Judea and Samaria, nor Gaza, regions of the former Mandate of Palestine that were intended, according to the League of Nations Mandate decision, for "close Jewish settlement on the land" (Article 6) and they were certainly not under Israeli "occupation". They were, however, under Jordanian and Egyptian occupation. Moreover, there was Arab-initiated terror, first by the fedayeen during the early 1950s and then, beginning in 1964 with the founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization, another round of terror directed at Jewish civilians was inaugurated. Indeed, what was the "Palestine" that was to be liberated?
I would suggest that there is no connection between peace and Jews not living among Arabs. Indeed, if there is no coexistence, peace cannot be attained. Shall we begin to refer to Arab localities in Israel as "settlements" to even out the equation of peace?