Let Israel identify its own lines

Kobe

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently called on the international community to lay down some “red lines” regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

Great idea, but first of all Israel should lay down some red lines of its own regarding its borders.

As Israel repeatedly calls upon Iran to recognize its existence, it would be a big help if Iran and others knew exactly which Israel they are supposed to recognize: the Israel before the Six Day War of 1967 or afterward?

Does Israel include the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and the West Bank, or not?

It would also be helpful if Israel laid down some clear red lines about its settlement policy, because the many Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories are an unequivocal breach of the Geneva Conventions, which specifically forbid such settlements on occupied land.

Israel should have the sense to realize that the widespread support of Iran in the Arab world would be seriously weakened if it renounced its seemingly limitless policy of building ever new settlements on land that is not part of Israel proper. And let Iran know which Israel it is expected to recognize within which borders.

As it is, people like Netanyahu appeal only to international law when it suits them, and ignore it (Geneva Conventions, for example) when it doesn’t.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

barry andrew ward