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Israeli Raids in Lebanon

August 04, 1993

* In response to "Israel Pounds Lebanon Bases; Arabs Retaliate," July 26:

As so often is the case, your Mideast reporting is uneven and slanted to the point of presenting the subject backwards. Buried in the article we find that seven Israeli soldiers had recently been killed and 20 so far this year.

As we see it, the headline should read, "Israel Retaliates for Arab Attacks." Israel calls for peace treaties and terrorists know only the dagger.

History shows that Arabs attack and Israel retaliates, much to the disapproval of the Arabs and, apparently, The Times.

HARRY PRINCE

Laguna Hills

* At least 100,000 Lebanese have now been dislodged from their homes, leaving an unknown number dead or wounded under the rubble. Evacuating people for security reasons has never worked in the past, as in the cases of the 1978 and 1982 invasions, because a new frontier will be formed and other Lebanese will be threatened. Bitterness and anger will dictate the sentiment along the lines of the new "security zone."

Initially, the attacks by the so-called terrorists were against military personnel on Lebanese land, which was unilaterally proclaimed by Israel as no-man's land. Israeli officials declared that the goal was to evacuate this land of its inhabitants, to the point that anything moving will be regarded as the enemy.

A process of ethnic cleansing, which the Jewish people sincerely condemn in Bosnia, is taking place in Palestine and Lebanon. Mass expulsion has now afflicted 100,000 people in addition to the 400 Palestinians expelled last year.

The traditional calls for the U.N. and the U.S. to condemn these latest atrocities will have the same results--Israeli intransigence. The American public, however, and American Jewry in particular can send a sobering message to the Israeli government: Brute force can lure governments into seemingly easy solutions that are actually compounding the problem, which will explode in our faces, leaving trails of blood, hate and human misery.

Give the Palestinians a state through negotiations, and security can be more easily facilitated than the violent repercussions of war. If the disenfranchised continue to have nothing at stake and nothing to lose, then they will echo the call of "give me liberty or give me death."

MAHER HATHOUT

Muslim Public Affairs Council

Los Angeles

* Some people wonder why Israel doesn't readily hand over land to the Palestinians. Perhaps it is because Israel is surrounded on all sides by 22 Arab states that have waged war against Israel six times in the last 45 years. Creating another state whose constitution to this day calls for Israel's destruction would, without careful consideration and a cautious eye to its survival, be unthinkable. Would America feel comfortable with Iraq in Des Moines?

Some people wonder why Israel does not give the Syrians back the Golan Heights after having captured it during the Six Day War. Perhaps it is because for decades the Syrians have used the Golan Heights as a launching pad to target Israeli cities.

SETH SWIRSKY

Los Angeles

* Why does not anybody criticize the massive terrorist tactics of the Israeli government? The indiscriminate bombing and shelling of villages by the Israeli military, the human suffering inflicted on innocent civilians, and the massive flow of refugees created, as well as the murder of over 110 unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, most of them children, are at par with the worst atrocities committed in Bosnia by the warring factions.

Yet at a time when we are cutting Medicare and taxing Social Security benefits, we are giving the Israeli government over $4 billion annually to continue its terrorist activities. Then, we have to pay more to assist the refugees and rebuild the devastation caused by the Israeli bombings. Are we insane? Are the taxpayers in a torpor or are they afraid to speak up?

ARIS ANAGNOS

Los Angeles

* If Washington really wants peace in the Mideast, it should stop all monetary and military aid to Israel, which enables Israel to wage endless war. There are better uses for our tax dollars than killing Arabs.

LOIS HIRE

Cathedral City

* The Lebanese government and its Syrian masters permit Hezbollah to terrorize northern Israel to gain advantage at the negotiating table. But when Israel defends itself, the Arabs shout that Israel is endangering the peace process.

We've come to expect this sort of hypocrisy from Israel's enemies. Unfortunately, too often it finds a sympathetic audience in this country.

PAUL KUJAWSKY

Tarzana

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