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'Danger on the Border'

March 25, 1985

Apathy and acute misunderstanding seems to be the attitude of The Times in its editorial (March 14), "Danger on the Border."

It is true that the longer it takes Israel to leave Lebanon, the more lives will be lost. That includes the young boys of the Israeli Defense Force as well as Lebanese civilians.

But useless rhetoric such as, "continuing to send its troops and tanks into villages to shoot suspects, crush cars, blow up homes and cart away every male capable of carrying a gun" only serves to mask the real perpetrators who are truly responsible for the violence now taking place in Lebanon.

The Israelis are not the ones sending car bombs and snipers to kill at random with no real purpose. It is the Shia Muslims who use this gruesome and barbaric method of murder. Ask yourself, who fired the first shot?

Lest you forget, the very reason Israel invaded Lebanon was to rout Palestine Liberation Organization terrorists who wantonly bombed and terrorized northern Israel for a decade. Again, ask yourself, who fired the first shot?

And what of the suppliers of these terrorists--Syria, Iran, Libya and the Soviet Union? Where are the U.N. resolutions condemning these exporters of murder and mutilation?

Israel is leaving, which is more than Syria, splintered PLO groups and the Iranian fundamentalists can say. But once again the old double standard used by the media for Israel is applied and no matter what Israel says or does it isn't right. In this case, they are at fault because they can't get out fast enough.

As to the attacks on the retreating Israeli force, what is Israel to do? Perhaps see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, is the game you would have them play. Or perhaps, pretend nothing has happened, as did the United States when the American Embassy and Marine headquarters were blown away.

Of course Israel wants out. But running like whimpering puppy dogs with their tails tucked between their legs is hardly their style nor should it be. Israel would not have survived throughout its history and simply could not survive today had it adopted this course of attitude.

To insinuate that Israel is purposely prolonging its withdrawal is twisted speculation. To "simply . . . get out, as fast as it humanly can," as you put it, offers little in advice or understanding of the problems of the Middle East today.


Mission Viejo

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