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Iran's Role in Mideast Violence

January 11, 2002

Re "Stop Terror at Its Source: Iran," Commentary, Jan. 8: I cannot comprehend how Yossi Klein Halevi imagines that our bombing Tehran will cause democrats in Iran to overthrow the liberalizing government of elected President Mohammad Khatami. Halevi's beef is with the Iranian fundamentalists like Hashemi Rafsanjani, who uses hawkish rhetoric to college students in an effort to reconvert them to holy war.

In today's inexorable escalation of the Mideast conflict to a wider war in Asia, we cannot afford to listen to hawks in Israel, Palestine or Iran. Yitzhak Rabin, like Khatami, attempted to take risks for peace. Rabin was killed by ultra-hawks in his own society. Similarly, Anwar Sadat was murdered by jihadists in Egypt who later swelled the ranks of Al Qaeda. It is necessary to limit the war on terrorism to bona fide terrorists hiding among large populations of people who desire food, order, opportunity and hope. If Halevi desires security for Israel, let him seek it as Rabin did by taking risks for peace.

Jean E. Rosenfeld

Pacific Palisades

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Re "Ship Captain Points at Arafat's Regime," Jan. 8: Am I missing something here? The Israelis intercept a boat loaded with arms and explosives; the captain, a longtime Fatah member, admits a Palestinian official gave him the orders to load the ship, cross the Suez Canal and disperse the contents to be landed in Palestinian territory. He admits the ship was loaded off the coast of Iran, helped by a Hezbollah member, and the cargo intended for Palestinians.

Yet our State Department official said he did not know who hired the ship and who were to be the recipients of this explosive cargo. Are we losing our integrity in order to keep Iran on our side? Shame on the State Department!

Will Becker

Indian Wells

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Regarding Gwen Johnson's Jan. 8 letter: Jews the world over shed tears for Palestinian children used as dupes and fodder by their elders. But pray tell who protects Jewish children at play or in school buses or buying pizza attacked by Palestinian terrorists? Jewish children are targeted by Palestinian terrorists whose policy is to kill Jews.

Herman Berman

Sherman Oaks

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