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Middle East Extremists

March 16, 1994

Your March 8 editorial urging the Israeli government to evict a few hundred or few thousand Jewish settlers of Judea and Samaria makes an ironic point, which has long been a cornerstone of PLO policy. In that view, Arabs have the right to live in Israel, as attested by the 700,000 Arab Israeli citizens. Further, Arabs who fled Israel during the 1948 war should have the right of return to Israel, to cities such as Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Haifa, etc. But Arab areas are to be Judenrein --free of Jews, who are to have no right to live in areas claimed by Arabs, such as the West Bank or East Jerusalem, despite the 3,000 years of Jewish presence.

This view, to which you give support on pragmatic grounds, flows logically from the long-held and widely publicized pronouncements of the Arab League and the PLO that Israel is an alien presence among the Arab nations--an undesirable island in an Arab sea, which must ultimately be submerged. This view, which is in Arab textbooks and is taught in the schools of all Arab nations, is the ultimate bar to real peace in the area, not the Jewish residents of the territories.



Reading Rabbi Robert L. Wolkoff's thoughtful discussion of factors underlying the Hebron massacre ("The Clash of Darkness and Light," Commentary, March 3), I am driven to two conclusions about Middle East affairs; one general, one specific.

Generally, rationally thinking Middle Easterners, Arabs and Jews alike, would do well to rein in their more fanatical brethren so that something even resembling civilized living can return to that part of the world.

Specifically, Israel should remain a democracy instead of, as some wish, transforming itself into a theocratic state.


Los Angeles

The commentary by Rabbi David Eliezrie ("Jews Have Long Suffered in Hebron," March 1) contained several disputable points. Rabbi Eliezrie failed to realize that the Kach movement is an organized terrorist organization that eulogized Baruch Goldstein as a martyr and that embraces the expulsion and bloodshed of Arabs ("1 million Arabs are not worth the fingernail of a Jew").

The rabbi also failed to realize that Palestine was illegally settled by Jewish terrorist organizations, such as the Irgun and the Stern Gang, who slaughtered entire villages and expelled Arab residents from their homes. He states that the Israeli government has failed to protect its citizens from terrorism. That is true. No police made an attempt to protect the Muslim worshipers from Goldstein's abhorrent act. The Israeli government continues to treat the Israeli Arabs as second-class citizens.


Los Angeles

Hanan Ashrawi, in her interview with Nathan Gardels (Commentary, March 2), has laid to rest any question about the PLO agenda.

"The Oslo accord is not sacred and has many flaws," she declared. If this accord--the Declaration of Principles--is not "sacred," then it follows that it can be cast aside. Consequently, PLO leader Yasser Arafat's signature on any agreement is only a worthless, uneven line of ink; and the PLO will continue its quest for the immediate formation of a Palestinian state without any intervening period of time to evaluate the progress toward that goal.

Apparently, those Israelis with misgivings about the PLO's intention to live up to the agreement are being proved correct.


Woodland Hills

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