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U.S. Denies Visa to Arafat

December 04, 1988

Secretary of State George Shultz's courage and vision in sharply and swiftly denying Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, a visa to speak before the United Nations should be hailed by Jews and non-Jews as an American message to the world that we will not legitimize terrorists and murderers!

The Times editorial ("Score One for the PLO," Nov. 29) was full of inconsistencies. You admit Shultz's action was morally right, but you say it was legally wrong. Shultz's decision was not only morally but legally correct, since the U.N. charter gives specific right to the U.S. to refuse entry to known or suspected persons who commit acts that threaten lives or property. When more than 200 U.S. Marines were blown to bits, or when a U.S. ambassador is murdered in a terrorist plane explosion, it is time to denounce terrorism at every opportunity.

Your misguided editorial asks, "What plausible danger to national security would Arafat's presence at the United Nation's pose?" That is like saying in 1943, "What harm could Hitler do making a speech to the U.S. Congress"?

Shouldn't the U.S. support Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East? Shouldn't the U.S. de-legitimize terrorist leaders like Arafat whose henchmen bomb schools and buses, killing innocent people?

JAY TELL

Canoga Park

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