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Boy 'Martyrs' Are Victims of Child Abuse

June 12, 2002

Re "In Growing Numbers, Palestinian Boys Are Choosing the Brief Life of a 'Martyr,' " June 10: Maybe somebody should let your reporter know that in a democratic society boys could not "choose" suicide. These boys are the ultimate victims of child abuse.

To blame the desire to become a suicide bomber on "the grinding frustration over torturous roadblocks and checkpoints erected by Israeli forces" is laughable. Since America was attacked our people have been subjected to sometimes humiliating searches before boarding planes; I don't see this motivating anyone here to become a suicide bomber.

Barbara Shapiro

Huntington Beach

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The Bush administration was not speaking of the creation of a Palestinian state a year ago. The main difference between now and then is that, in the meantime, Islamic terrorists have murdered thousands of Americans and hundreds of Israelis.

Now the president is planning to reward these killers with a state of their own. If we want to survive as a free nation, we should be ending states that sponsor terrorism, not creating more of them.

Dana Honeycutt

San Diego

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Re "Bush Refuses to Set Mideast Timetable," June 9: The main concern of President Bush and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is to find a way to stop violence in order to be able to resume the peace process. However, too much emphasis is put on the violence from the Palestinians' side. It looks like the Palestinians are the ones who are able to control everything. Other times it seems that a Palestinian life is not as valuable as an Israeli life, if we take a look at the death tolls.

Even if the Israelis stop the use of violence and the Palestinians continue to use it, it is because there exists another kind of violence: occupation. We need to put an end to this as well, otherwise we'd be deluding ourselves. If occupation is the problem, solving the problem by more occupation accompanied by terror will certainly be ineffective. No excuses should be made for forbidding a people their undeniable right of freedom. It is indeed a right that has been ignored for 35 years.

It is not a reward that the Israelis will offer the Palestinians after certain conditions are met. Only after occupation stops will violence stop, and not the other way around. Let's be realistic for a moment and find effective and fair solutions to bring safety to both the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Heba E. Elkalyoubi

San Diego

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There can be no peace in the Middle East until Yasser Arafat shows he can stand up to his own terrorists. The only timetable that matters is the day Palestinians cease to glorify a murderer who deliberately slaughters a 5-year-old child in her home (April 28).

Scott Abramson

San Mateo

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