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War Crimes Inquiry on Ariel Sharon

July 08, 2001

What is most disturbing about the investigation of Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ("Belgian Prosecutor Looks at Sharon Role in '82 Massacre," July 4) is not the diplomatic problems that it creates for Belgium, but rather the insufferable hypocrisy of considering charging Sharon and ignoring the past of Arab leaders. Twice, the Arab leaders of Egypt, Syria and Jordan gathered their forces to attack Israel and its people in an effort to kill the inhabitants and drive Israel off the map. Once the attack came on Israel's holiest day, Yom Kippur. Where is the investigation of that invasion?

The clearest illustration of the hypocrisy in this possible prosecution is the comparative past of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. There is no question that his efforts lay behind the killing of thousands of Israelis, including those athletes slain in the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

By investigating what is certainly a ruthless act by Sharon but ignoring the suffering commissioned by Arafat and other Arab leaders, the Belgian prosecutors are doing something far worse than "limiting diplomatic possibilities." They are hypocritically implying that the killing of Israelis does not deserve the same prosecution.

Yoni Rosenzweig

Sherman Oaks

This worthy item regarding Sharon's role in the '82 massacre omits the salient fact that, at the time of the Shatila and Sabra [refugee camps] massacre, Sharon was not present at the sites; for that matter, no Israeli was anywhere near either. Those who were pulling the triggers were Arabs. Christian Arabs. Sharon was cited and censured because he should have known that a massacre was brewing and taken steps to prevent it. Omitting this important item tends to link Sharon directly with the killings, and that is simply not true.

Sheldon Kronfeld

San Diego

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