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Mideast Violence

December 31, 1988

Movies, like any other media, can be selective. Reality may require much more.

Kevin Thomas' Dec. 10 movie review, "Shattered Dreams' Documents Israel's Plight," uses the phrases "war in Lebanon," "brutal oppression in the occupied territories," "five wars in its 40 years of existence," "brutality of the Israeli soldiers against the Arabs." All can be evaluated by reference to reality, in which 1,300 years of Arab religion, culture and practice have been far closer to Holy War than to any "voices of moderation."

There is not one democratic Arab state. Characteristic examples of Arab handling of dissent are Syrian suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood at Hama; PLO suppression of the Christian Falange at Damour; Jordanian suppression of the PLO around 1971; Iraqi suppression of Kurds by poison gas and otherwise; Muslim Brotherhood suppression of "moderation" in Egypt by the assassination of Anwar Sadat; Libyan suppression of Libyan dissent both internal and external by terrorism, etc., etc. Many thousands of killings were involved.

LEONARD HORWIN

Beverly Hills

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