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Division in the Mideast

February 01, 1988

Your editorial "The Pain Grows" (Jan. 26) is a biased approach that ignores the reality of the Middle East. You accuse Israel of using torture to subdue the rioters. However, you fail to point out that the goal of these people is not just political freedom, but the destruction of the State of Israel. Surely, any country has the right to defend itself by any means necessary to insure its survival. No one is pleased about the beatings, but they are certainly less harmful than being shot.

You speak about the abuse of the law that the beatings represent in a land where "the rule of law is supposed to prevail." The rioters certainly are obeying the law and only the Israelis are breaking it! Your editorial seems to suggest that Israel should just stand by and allow the rioting. What then of the "rule of law"?

Other countries that have won territory in wars, especially where the loser was the aggressor, have simply annexed it. Israel chose not to do so. It was hoped that this land could be returned in the future in return for peace treaties.

No one likes using force, but many are forced to do so by circumstances beyond their control. Such force does not constitute torture and should not be so characterized.

ALVIN J. BROWN

Canoga Park

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