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U.S. Dissent in Persian Gulf Confrontation

December 16, 1990

One important element in the proposals to avoid war is a U.N.-sponsored peace conference on the Middle East. We have witnessed genuine resolution of "impossible situations" in other areas of the world this year; there are nonviolent solutions to the problems there, too. Our hesitation to endorse such a conference is the result of our deep commitment to Israel. Admittedly, the risks are high, but the risks of war are higher and much more ominous.

The Middle East as a region will be secure only when every country--and every people--is secure. Our support of Israel's right to exist must not be confused with the belief that it is time to re-think Israel's national policy regarding the Palestinians. Israel's fears can be balanced and transformed by courage on our part.

A peace conference will begin a long process of discovery. It deserves our full support.

PEGGY BABCOCK

Upland

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