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Arafat and Peace

February 11, 2001

* Re "Peace Process May Hang on Israeli Coalition," Feb. 7: Amazingly, your article puts the emphasis on the peace process while the election of Ariel Sharon as prime minister screams the simple reality that Israelis gave up on it because they have no partner.

For years there was this idea that Yasser Arafat is essential to the peace, that he alone can pull it off. Now that all the truths are out, the new truth is that Arafat never wanted peace and is incapable of crafting a peace.

Looking at Israel on election day choosing another leader because it was not satisfied with Ehud Barak, one wonders what kind of Mideast we could have had with the Palestinian Authority being a democracy and Arafat out of the picture. How sad for the Palestinians. All this energetic rage to fight the wrong enemy.

BATYA DAGAN

Los Angeles

*

Whenever Sharon is mentioned, he is "accused of war crimes" and Sabra and Shatila are mentioned. Why, then, when Arafat is mentioned, are terrorists, the Munich Olympics, Maalot, Leon Klinghoffer [killed during the Achille Lauro hijacking in 1985], Black September, or U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel and Charge d'Affaires G. Curtis Moore [killed in Khartoum, Sudan, in 1973] not mentioned? Sharon is a war criminal but Arafat is not? Spare me.

AARON D. GROSS

Los Angeles

*

Before doomsayers start wearing sackcloth and pouring ashes on their heads, let's not forget that it was Menachem Begin, the first Likud prime minister and former leader of the Irgun, the militant commandos in British-controlled Palestine, who was the major force, with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, that resulted in the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

Perhaps Gen. Sharon will be beamed similar signals from Arafat, which will provide hope for the settlement demanded by present and future generations of human beings, on both sides, who need not share a state of love between them to not kill one another--as has been so clearly demonstrated by Israel and Egypt for the past 24 years.

SID SKOLNIK

West Hollywood

*

With Sharon's victory the extreme right marches us inexorably down the road backward. Whither? Toward reinvigorated militancy. Indeed, toward the onset of WWIII and our mutual nuclear end. If not now, in this generation, then not many generations down the road.

JIM HOOD

Camarillo

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