Your article [Ayers, Wright, call for justice in the Mideast, news, May 20] states that “Rockets aren’t mentioned because the group focuses on the root cause of the conflict. which is the [Israeli] occupation [of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip].” This statement is misleading and confuses cause and effect. Israel took over these territories in the aftermath of the Six Days War in 1967. This war was a consequence of an ongoing conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors, which rejected Israel’s right to exist.

Forty years later, the occupation is a piece of a larger problem. Therefore, the end of the occupation and the removal of settlements can be done only in the context of a comprehensive two-state solution, in which Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist and thrive, denounce the use of violence and terrorism, and demonstrate capabilities of self-government. Now, as in the past, they fall short on these important preconditions for a sustainable peace. Let us hope that the Obama administration can build mutual trust and compel both sides to reach a long-lasting resolution to this difficult conflict. Then we can all smoke the peace pipe.

Yoram Haftel
Oak Park

Editor’s note: The narrative of our report did not present as fact the statement the letter writer refers to. That statement was an indirect quotation attributed to the event’s organizer.

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