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Conrad

December 27, 1987

I have no quarrel with Conrad if it is his intention to point out the tragedy in the Gaza Strip. No sane person can be happy about the developments in that unhappy land, but it should be pointed out that the inference made by his cartoon is an inaccurate representation of the facts. There is simply no analogy between the problem of the Soviet Jews and the Palestinian dilemma.

There are two basic differences. In the case of the Soviet Jews, (1) these people are being held against their will; and (2) if released, they have a place to go since the Israelis are not only willing but anxious to take them in, as they in fact did with the Ethiopian refugees. In the case of the Palestinian refugees, Israel is not preventing them from leaving. The problem of the Palestinians is that they are being forsaken by their own people since no Arab nation is willing to show the same brotherly concern for their fellows.

The fact is that the Israelis are no less victims than the Palestinian in this terrible circumstance, since they are forced to choose between maintaining a tragic situation or committing national suicide. It is easy to moralize, but it is not moral to distort facts. Conrad would be more helpful if he would advance suggestions for solving the problem instead of fanning the fires of emotion. His offering only adds heat to a situation that is already too hot to handle.

SANFORD THIER

Irvine

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