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Bombings by South Africa

May 28, 1986

If it is right for the United States to condemn the raid into Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe by South Africa ostensibly to wipe out guerrilla camps of the African National Congress, then how do we distinguish the same act when it is done by Israel in Tunisia? Why do we loudly protest the actions of South Africa and only a whimper is heard when Israel violates the same norms in pursuit of the PLO? Both nations contend that the enemy are terrorists and they they are only protecting their self-interest and national homeland.

And while we are at it, it is obviously only the perception of the observer that allows for a distinction to be drawn between the conduct of South Africa and our raid into Libya., We say that Libya is a chief proponent of state-sponsored terrorism (given). But from the view of South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe were also sponsoring terrorism by harboring the rebels.

IVAN M. HOFFMAN

Los Angeles

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