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Israel's Presence In Lebanon Not Illegal

Israel's Presence In Lebanon Not Illegal

Though I agree that Israeli attacks upon the Lebanese civilian population are abominable and I have been vocal in saying so back in Israel, I must take issue with one part of the column "Occupation And Violence Mark Israel's Treatment Against Lebanese People" [March 14] - that "Israel has illegally occupied over 10 percent of Lebanese territory" I take issue with the word "illegally."

Since time immemorial, it has been the duty of every country to prevent any land on which it claims sovereignty to secure said land from being used for aggression against its neighbors. Israel has occupied the Security Zone because Lebanon failed in its duty and the Galilee was being attacked by rockets fired from Lebanese territory. This principle of international law is also the grounds behind America's invasion and annexation of Florida and for Pershing's Expedition to capture Pancho Villa. If the Israeli invasion really is illegal, then the United States should return Florida to Spanish rule and apologize to Mexico and pay reparations for Pershing's expedition.

But if the invasion is legal, I ask one thing: If Israel retreats from the Security Zone, will the Galilee once again be subject to rocket attacks? If Lebanon will again be derelict in its duties, then with apologies to all I may offend, I must continue to support Israeli presence in the Security Zone.

Omri Schwarz '97