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Western Views on Israel and Arabs

January 13, 1991

There is perceptive commentary and there is vile propaganda devoid of intellectual thought. Eqbal Ahmad's column "What Arabs Know, and You Don't" (Commentary, Jan. 8) falls into the latter category.

For Arabs to engage in self-analysis can only broaden their perspectives. Ultimately, this may result in a more peaceful Middle East in which the Arab conflict with Israel (not the Arab-Israeli or Israeli-Arab conflict) and the Western world can be resolved.

Ahmad strays far from intellectual honesty, however. He tells us that "no sane" person can take President Bush seriously because Bush heads a government that supports an Israel which occupies the land of four Arab entities. This now common battle cry of the moral-equivalent crowd, designed to de-legitimize Israel's self-defensive actions in 1967 and 1973 against the hatred of those like Ahmad, lacks substance. Yet it is continuously used by Ahmad and his cohorts to engage in the most vicious scapegoating of Israel as the source of all evil, and now we're told that to hold otherwise would make one insane!

When Arabs can discuss issues without castigating Israel at every turn, they may earn a place at the table of serious debate. Until then, their scurrilous propaganda and Jew-hatred deserve scorn.

BRIAN K. DENNIS, Studio City

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