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Dry Up Dictators' Support

January 05, 2002

Re "Road to Mideast Solution Starts Elsewhere," Commentary, Dec. 31: Barry Strauss shows how the true foes of Israel are not the Palestinians but their sympathetic neighbors, such as Syria, Iraq and Iran.

However, rather than wage a military attack on every nation that supports the Palestinians, as Strauss advocates, a more lasting solution would be for Israel to end its 34-year military occupation of Palestinian homelands.

If that happened, support for Mideast dictators would dry up because their primary persuasion issue would evaporate. If the U.S. wages war on every nation that sympathizes with the Palestinians cause, we would have to fight almost every nation in the world except Israel.

Bob Daly

San Bernardino

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Was the unfortunate juxtaposition of that ridiculous cartoon by Jeff Danziger designed to mock the Strauss commentary? As Strauss clearly laid out, ultimate salutary benefits not only for Israel and for the U.S. but for the entire free world would result from military action against the despotic regimes in Iraq, Iran and Syria that house, train and finance terrorist organizations in a number of countries.

That ought to be abundantly clear except to those like Danziger who feel, perhaps, that a little more "diplomacy" could do the trick.

Herbert D. Eagle

West Los Angeles

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Strauss would like us to believe that the way to make peace in the Mideast is to rain death and destruction on Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. How clever!

Ridha Hajjar

Cerritos

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Once again, Yasser Arafat asserts that he desires peace (Jan. 1). All he wants is a country of his own, with Jerusalem as its capital, including the Old City. Prior to 1967, when the Old City was under Palestinian (since Jordan is in fact part of Palestine) control, most of the Jewish quarter was deliberately destroyed. Tombstones from the Jewish cemetery were looted to pave highways, and Jews were denied access to the Western Wall, their holiest site. But after the Israelis liberated the city, they respected and maintained Islamic mosques and shrines.

Given the fact that Mecca and Medina are under Muslim control, and given their past record of disrespect for the religions of others, the Palestinians may deserve a country of their own, but they have relinquished any right to the Old City of Jerusalem.

Barbara Kaplan

Los Angeles

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