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The Solid but Regrettable Argument for Israel's Security Fence

The International Court of Justice has completed its hearings on the legality of the barrier Israel is building in the occupied West Bank. This is an isolated question among many larger issues that await a negotiated peace agreement.

Who has the right to what land? Do Palestinian refugees and their descendants have a right to go back to what is now Israel? Do Jews have a right to settle in the West Bank?

Basic issues of justice -- such as the right of each side to live with dignity and security -- are, of course, important in any peace agreement. But most of them are interrelated, and it is unlikely that the ICJ can resolve them when they are truncated into technical arguments about where a defensive wall can or cannot go.

Even so, now that the issue has been put before the Court, it must be discussed. Although the world expects a negative decision, Israel can in fact muster a sound legal case.