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Hatred, Not Aspiration, Motivates Terror

January 22, 2002

In "Bid Farewell to 'Mr. Palestine' " (Commentary, Jan. 16) Said Aburish provides a very peculiar revisionist version of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. He claims that "the Palestinians were thrown into Arafat's arms" by the actions of Israel and some Arab countries and that Arafat "knew that the people of the West Bank and Gaza loathed the behavior of his Beirut-bred fun-loving, corrupt entourage." Thus it is partly Israel's fault that the Palestinian Arabs have Arafat as their leader.

He blames Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for the failure of the Oslo agreement and for even initiating the war that Arafat really started 15 months ago, saying, "Arafat should have known that Sharon would use force against Palestinian civilians rather than cede the smallest point of the agreement."

Aburish says "Arafat never deviated from his efforts to create a Palestinian identity."

When Arafat, as head of the PLO terrorist organization, started his terrorist actions against Jews in the state of Israel in 1964, all of the West Bank, including Gaza and Jerusalem, were in Arab hands. The goal of the PLO was to destroy Israel. The demand to establish a Palestinian entity is a relatively recent tactical maneuver to build up the means to achieve the original PLO goal.

Bernard Lindner

Los Angeles

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Re "Palestinian Kills Six at Celebration," Jan. 18: What would Americans do about foreign terrorists who not only repeatedly attacked our civilians but primarily targeted our children?

The Palestinian plan of terror is sickeningly clear: at the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv, teenage girls slaughtered; at Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, young families with small children and babies murdered; at Tekoa, two young boys abducted and beaten to death; at the Ben Yehuda Mall, Jerusalem, no victim older than 21; and now, the latest Palestinian "martyr" sprays gunfire at a bat mitzvah.

These youngsters do not represent the "collateral damage" of a military conflict. They were specific targets chosen to maximize the terror and despair created in the Israeli civilian population.

Is there any sound more thunderous than the anguished sobs of a mother for her slain child? The explosions, the wail of the sirens, pale in comparison. As more and more Israeli mothers join the lament, even the constant whine of Palestinian victimhood fades to an annoying buzz.

E. Scott Menter

Tustin

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Re "Saudis Feel Unfairly Tarred With a Terrorist Brush," Jan. 17: It's not the many home-grown terrorists, or the royal family that continues to defend and finance terrorists, or even the contempt in which they hold those who are different than they that has caused the world to "diss" Saudi Arabia. It is, of course, the Zionist entity, its control of the U.S. Congress and the Jews' control of the money and the press that have caused Americans to "unfairly tar Saudi Arabia with a terrorist brush."

It's time for America to face the truth about Saudi Arabia and many of its Muslim neighbors: If Israel were to cease to exist today, Islam would continue to hate America, Christians and Jews; Islam "is peace" only when its devotees practice peace and stop their verbal and monetary support for terrorists and terrorist ideals.

Richard S. Weiner

Los Angeles

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