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U.S. Denies Visa to Arafat

December 04, 1988

Your editorial misses the mark in its analysis of Shultz's decision to deny a visa to Arafat. You decry Shultz for allowing "emotion to override good judgment" and claim his act was "not proper, not wise and not convincing." How wrong you are.

Secretary Shultz's statement makes explicit the recent acts of terror in which Arafat's PLO has been involved. This was not a recitation of the horrors Arafat's minions have perpetrated over the past two decades (such a litany could include the invention of skyjacking, the Munich massacre, and the callous murder of countless innocents) but events in recent months. Is our government to accept Arafat's specious claims of innocence, or are we to demand that the PLO play it straight--if they want to be accepted as diplomats then they ought to act like diplomats.

The Times argues that Shultz's actions are to be condemned because other nations will rally to Arafat's defense. That may be the case, but that is a price the United States has often paid for its commitment to principle and consistency.

One secretary of state has acted in a way of which all Americans should be proud. His refusal to allow our shores to be used for propaganda by the creator of the scourge of modern terror is proper, wise and convincing.

DAVID A. LEHRER

Regional Director

Anti-Defamation League

Los Angeles

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