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Negotiated settlement

This has reference to the editorial Palestinians? Palestine question (June 14). Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip nine months ago, hoping the Palestinians would view this move as an opportunity to advance the prospects of negotiated settlement based on the notion of a two-State solution.

india Updated: Jun 17, 2006 01:27 IST
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This has reference to the editorial Palestinians’ Palestine question (June 14). Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip nine months ago, hoping the Palestinians would view this move as an opportunity to advance the prospects of negotiated settlement based on the notion of a two-State solution. Instead, Gaza has fallen prey to Palestinian infighting coupled with the launching of deadly rockets towards Israeli townships. If this is called ‘16-month ceasefire’ I wonder what terror campaign and warfare are. Any democratic government takes as its prime duty the security of the lives of its citizens. Israel, in its response to terror, has to balance this duty with the desire not to harm Palestinian civilians. We, therefore, regret Palestinian civilian casualties. Israel has made it clear that repeated attacks from Gaza are the only reason why Israeli forces return fire. A complete quiet will prevail the moment terrorist attacks cease.

In the meantime, the Government of Israel has reiterated that it will make every effort to negotiate a two-State solution with the Palestinians. If such negotiations, based on mutual recognition and the previously agreed roadmap, are not possible, Israel may act unilaterally.

I am, therefore, puzzled by the Hindustan Times’ doubt of Israel’s intention to negotiate with the Palestinians. I wish to make it clear that Israel prefers a stable negotiated settlement to a unilateral act. Referendums among Palestinians are an internal Palestinian matter. Whatever its outcome, it will not create a new platform for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. At the end of the day, Palestinians will have to revert to the Oslo accords and the roadmap which requires, first and foremost, cessation of violence.

David Danieli
Ambassador of Israel,
Delhi

Failure on all fronts

Apropos ofManoj Joshi’s article A weak hand (June 16), the Congress is not on such sound footing as the author would have us believe. The party has managed nothing spectacular during its term so far. It has failed to curb terrorism and corruption, its pro-Muslim and pro-reservation policies have disfigured the social structure of the country and unprecedented price rise has become the order of the day.

Shanti Bhushan
Noida

Better lobbying required

While there is a lot of excitement over Shashi Tharoor’s candidature for the top job at the United Nations, the possible veto from China is a serious challenge. Apart from lobbying with the P-5 and other powers at the UN, what the MEA needs is a clear vision of the UN’s role in the emerging international scenario, as well as the role of developed and developing nations in order to meet various challenges such as economic growth, environment and terrorism.

Navneet Dhawan
Delhi

II

Shashi Tharoor’s nomination is a matter of great pride for Asia. A great author, effective communicator and efficient diplomat, Tharoor has a strong commitment to reform which justifies his nomination.

Narayan B. Iyer
Mumbai

Unnecessary intervention

Health Minister A. Ramadoss’s meddling in AIIMS is unacceptable (AIIMS boss clashes with minister, June 16). However, the real reason for the doctors’ discontent is not so honourable. They are angry with Ramadoss for denying them pay for the days they were on strike. They should know that their strike caused suffering to many hapless patients.

Pranav Sachdeva
Delhi

II

Ramadoss is trying to run a dictatorship by transferring three aides of AIIMS Director P. Venugopal without his consent. It is not good for government-run institutions to have temporarily- posted politicians degrade the status of permanent employees.

Subhash Agrawal
Delhi

Blot on army

This refers to the report Top generals in Cereal Scam (June 16). It was disheartening to read about army officials’ misdeeds. There was a time when the armed forces were the only profession where honesty, integrity and dedication were assured. Now it has become as corrupt as any other profession. We can only pity the soldiers who put their lives at risk for our country.

Bal Govind
Bareilly

Readers may e-mail letters to the editor at:letters@hindustantimes.com

First Published: Jun 17, 2006 01:27 IST