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Israel and Palestinians

February 22, 1988

Paul Conrad's brilliant pen, although as sharp as ever, seems to have developed a pronounced tilt. Over the past eight weeks, Conrad has been obsessed with the events in the Middle East. He appears bent on portraying Israel in an unfriendly, and even hostile, manner, ignoring her attempts to deal with a very complex and trying situation.

His use of the Jewish star, the symbol both of the State of Israel and the Jewish religion, his stereotypic portrayal of Jews in a December cartoon relating to Soviet Jewry, and his recent unclear allusion to the binding of Isaac, were all preludes to his latest effort.

On Feb. 12, he not only insulted the countless victims of terror perpetrated by the PLO, but also demeaned our government and its intelligence community. His equation of the PLO and the CIA is, to say the least, inapt.

Whatever transgressions of law and good judgment may have been committed by the CIA over its 40-year life, it is outrageous to equate its acts with the wanton and intentional murder of innocents committed by the PLO. The PLO is the godfather of modern day terror and its bloody record has served as the model for those who seek to ravage democracy and the West. Is the CIA really similar?

What appeared to be Conrad's blind spot vis-a-vis the Middle East has now, seemingly, distorted his entire field of vision. There is nothing in America's recent history to equate with the vicious brutality and immorality of the PLO, and Conrad ought to know that.

DAVID A. LEHRER

Regional Director

Anti-Defamation League

Los Angeles

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