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Sharing the Blame

January 04, 1987

Thank you for printing a review of "After the Last Sky: Palestinian Lives" by Edward Said, a book that is sympathetic to the Palestinians, ("Jews of the Arab World?" The Book Review, Nov. 2). I believe that this is a first for such a book to be reviewed by The Times.

Although the reviewer, Jonathan Kirsch, sounds a pessimistic note about what he perceives as a lack of sincerity and honesty in Said's writing, I do not believe that Kirsch himself is being completely honest when he implies that the Palestinians' problems stem from their resorting to violence. After all, in pre-Israel Palestine, it wasn't the Palestinians who brought violence and terror to that land. Such well-known leaders as Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir were also known to the British and to the Palestinians for their vicious terror tactics during that era.

To blame only one side for something that both sides are guilty of is counterproductive and will not bring about the meaningful encounter with Arabs and Jews that Kirsch appears to wish for.

Z. S. SIDAWI

Costa Mesa

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