The Daily Telegraph
1 Canada Square
Your piece in today�s [8/10/04] edition �Israel must never give up the moral high ground� came across as a belated exercise in damage limitation.
You seemed to be appalled by the fact that Dov Weisglass said something which is common knowledge internationally. That Ariel Sharon has no interest in a political settlement of the conflict in Palestine.
The fact is, Sharon is not the first Israeli leader to hold this position. You would recall his Likud predecessor Yitshak Shamir was forced by the Bush [snr] administration to attend the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991. He vowed on that occasion that he would drag negotiations out until he had filled the occupied territories with Israeli settlements to make it impossible to reach a peaceful solution.
Sharon�s objective is clearly to complete this unfinished business. It is rather disturbing that you offered tacit support for the expansion of settlements when you expressed an understanding why Mr Weisglass should �reassure Likud and its religious allies that what they see as a betrayal of the Gaza settlers does not presage an evacuation of the West Bank.�
What moral ground are you referring to, therefore, when the International Court of Justice recently reaffirmed that the West Bank and Gaza Strip are �occupied territories� in which Israel has the status of occupying Power and that the creation of settlements there �have done nothing to alter this situation.�
You may be reminded that not only is the current situation �contrary to international law�, but as the International Court of Justice ruled �all States are under an obligation not to recognise the illegal situation � and not to render aid or assistance� to maintaining it.
This, we believe, is the fundamental message you should convey after Dov Weisglass statement.
Dr. Daud Abdullah