In his most recent visit to the Middle East, President Bush called for a contiguous Palestinian state, that Israel give up the occupied territories seized in the 1967 war and compensation for Palestinians who fled their homes in 1948 when Israel became a nation. However, almost as soon as the words were spoken, his handlers began to spin his statement to give new definitions to the words "contiguous" and "occupied." Later reports indicated that contiguous does not mean "connected together as a single entity," and occupied does not refer to all the territory seized and held by Israel.

The lands to be returned in the formation of a Palestinian state appear to include only that land that has not been already annexed through Israeli settlements. This is almost as if the contiguous United States did not include the territory gained from the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803 and there was no way to move unhindered from East to West.

If Bush wants to begin a dialogue to really solve the Middle East crisis, it would be preferable to choose his words more carefully.

Eugene Trousdale

Salt Lake City