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Israel's West Bank War on Terror

April 04, 2002

How ironic that you print a rather thoughtful article about the Middle East by Robert Scheer below one written by [former Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu (Commentary, April 2). Remember, it was Netanyahu's aggressive expansion of the West Bank settlements that contributed to the problem today. Maybe your readers are fooled into thinking that Israeli tanks ravaging West Bank cities is the same as U.S. troops searching for Bin Laden's men in Afghanistan's mountains; however, the rest of the world is not. They are fortunate enough to have an objective press.

The day is coming sadly closer when we will witness more attacks on Jews and Jewish synagogues outside the U.S. (April 2). These attacks will be indefensible but will simply represent the frustration that the rest of the world feels in our arbitrary designation of the terms "terrorist" or "axis of evil."

Mike Strong

Corona del Mar

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Scheer is correct. Israel should move back to its 1967 borders, provided all the Arab countries agree to step into a time machine and live as they did in 1967. Native Americans would like their nation back as well; should we give it to them?

Jonathan Grossman

Huntington Beach

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Re "Washington's Burden . . .," editorial, April 2: It seems to me the "myopic timidity" that is described in that editorial belongs to the writer of that very piece.

The editorial cites chapter and verse about all of our statesmen, from Kissinger to Clinton, and their extensive but, admittedly, futile efforts to achieve a peace between Israel and the Palestinians, then chastises President Bush for not diving into this failed diplomacy.

The people responsible for the Sept. 11 attack and the suicide bombings are not people who abide by negotiations and treaties. President Bush, by not interfering, is actually pursuing a very powerful policy. War, as a last resort, is also a form of diplomacy. The U.S. has done no less in Afghanistan.

Carol Jaffe

Encino

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Your editorial states, "Leaders have to play with whoever's on the field, and at the moment that means Arafat." The absurdity of this statement only requires one name: Hitler. Or how about this name: Osama bin Laden. The Times would never make this assertion if it were thousands of Americans being blown up in cafes and at their religious observances. Talk of the need for Israeli restraint is simply Chamberlain-style appeasement.

Craig Svonkin

Riverside

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If the U.S. is fighting a worldwide war on terror, shouldn't we send troops to the Middle East and combat the Palestinian-led suicide bombings?

Eric Podell

Los Angeles

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