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U.S. Denies Visa to Arafat

December 04, 1988

The Times is right to take Shultz to task. His action flies in the face of our legal obligation, flouts reason, and inevitably demeans us abroad. Has Shultz forgotten that, after all, it was the U.S. more than any other nation that pushed for the creation of an international body which would provide a forum for discussion, and a hopeful alternative to violence?

But I urge The Times to devote more attention to the more troubling condition of our body politic relative to any issue surrounding Israel.

In the best tradition of American politics, we have heard challengers and incumbents oppose one another on such issues as Contra aid, abortion, school prayers, the death penalty and the trade deficit.

But where was the debate about our continued massive aid to Israel (which in large measure subsidizes its continued suppression of human rights in territories where it does not belong)?

The cowardice of our politicians on this issue crosses party and ideological lines.

Since I consider myself a liberal, I am particularly critical of hypocrites in my own camp, such as Sen. Alan Cranston (who himself was a founder of the United World Federalists, and supposedly is a "man of peace"). Cranston has the "courage" to vigorously oppose any aid to the Contras. Even though this involves just a few millions, I applaud him for this position. But what about the $3 billion to Israel each year, Senator? Surely there must be something to be said about this beyond platitudes.


Santa Barbara

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