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A Hard-Liner Calls for Israel to Reoccupy the West Bank

July 05, 2002

I commend Mary Curtius for "Israeli Despair Opens Door for Hard-Liner" (July 30), which presented Israeli Cabinet member Effi Eitam's views regarding the desirability of population transfer. It is sad that the Arab rejection of peace has made positions such as Eitam's popular in Israel. Since population transfer has worked successfully to solve other irreconcilable ethnic problems, it is heartening to see The Times report such a proposal without resorting to the usual negativism.

Eitam's proposals are a response to the inveterate hatred of Arabs. They are regrettable, but the Palestinians have only themselves to blame now that they are being advocated by many in Israel's Jewish population. Population transfer of Jews from Arab countries has already been implemented, with more than 2 million Jews in Israel being descended from those who came from Arab countries from which they were ejected after 1948. A transfer of Arab refugees from Israel to these countries must now be seriously considered as the most realistic solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Gershon Hepner

Los Angeles

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It becomes apparent to me that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Cabinet are no longer occupied with protecting democracy but by using any excuse they can to reacquire the Palestinian territory. This includes religion, which Eitam has used in convincing Sharon to launch the most blatantly ignorant actions thus far in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Eitam underestimates his own people, believing they are gullible enough to listen to his claims of moral superiority, after he publicly prays for the Palestinians' destruction. But the Israelis have become keener to his plot, including rabbis like Michael Melchior. I hope for more Orthodox Jews to speak out as he has, and convince Sharon that extremist actions must be avoided.

Bradley Mielke

San Juan Capistrano

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Eitam understands Israel's adversaries and Israel's identity. This is not lunatic fringe; this is a reality-based solution for Israel's survival.

Charles L. Schnee

Los Angeles

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Re your story on Eitam: Militant Jewry is no different from other irrational militancy.

Perry Bezanis

San Pedro

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