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Israel and Palestinians

February 22, 1988

Kuttab, a Palestinian journalist living in Jerusalem, insists that the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza deserve self-determination. Perhaps the unacceptable question should be asked--why? Why do they deserve an option that is denied to the Basques, the Kurds, the Armenians, the Australian Aborigines, the American Indians?

Because they rejected a Palestinian state when it was offered by the United Nations? Because they never sought a Palestinian state when the Ottoman Empire ruled the Mideast or when Jordan governed the West Bank and Egypt the Gaza Strip? Because they murdered children in schools, Olympic athletes, an invalid in a wheelchair?

Because Israel accepted Jewish refugees from Arab lands but Arab nations refused to accept Arab refugees from Israel? Because the PLO insists that self-determination for the Palestinians demands the dismantling of Israel? If self-determination is to be earned, the Palestinians do not qualify.

HOWARD H. KENDLER

Santa Barbara

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