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Mideast Tug of War Over Palestinian Lands

June 21, 2002

"Cast a Steady Eye on Peace" (editorial, June 20) states how crucial it is for there to be a Palestinian state in order to end suicide bombings. How unrealistic can you be? I have to admit, two years ago I was a promoter of peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. But now I see it is no longer an option.

The so-called Palestinians don't want peace, they want to drive Israel into the sea. Creating a state for them would not only legitimate their horrific terror attacks, it would give them more ability to regroup and create more terror.

The Islamic militants who perform these suicide acts are not interested in peace, and we all know Yasser Arafat isn't either.

Elana Taylor

Sherman Oaks

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Re "Build Palestinian Hope, Build Israeli Confidence," Commentary, June 19: Dennis Ross doesn't take into consideration the Palestinian perspective at all. Having a state does not necessarily mean "freedom from Israeli control." Ehud Barak's offer at Camp David was a Palestinian state totally under the control of Israel, which is why Arafat rejected it.

Ross talks about performance on both sides, but there are no demands on Israel, and worse, no sanctions. On the contrary, since Israel doesn't want a Palestinian state, it will do everything it can to make sure a timeline fails. Any agreement that does not require Israel to relinquish control of the Palestinians upfront (i.e., by freezing settlements, dismantling them and stopping the siege of Palestinians) isn't going to work. And there must be built-in sanctions for the Israelis, like the elder President Bush's deductions from U.S. aid for dollars spent on settlements.

Aron Trauring

New York City

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Ross provided an excellent road map to peace. In essence, though, his plan, like so many before it, will succeed or fail on whether the Palestinians recognize the futility in terrorist acts of blowing up women and children. Ross should, therefore, add to his plan the use of those Christian evangelists described in "Hold the Fire and Brimstone" (June 19). These preachers could preach to the Palestinians that what is most important in God's eyes is not the afterlife (virgins versus hell) but life itself.

Bob Horning

Los Angeles

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Bush needs to insist Israel remove its 200,000 illegal settlers from the Palestinian West Bank and 5,000 from Gaza. Israel must trade land for peace. Unless Bush stops our one-sided support for Israel (Arabs see U.S. gunships and tanks blowing up Palestinians every night on their TV news), we will get more Arab terrorist attacks on the U.S. If he watched Arab TV news each night, the president would see for himself why they hate us. The terror on both sides must stop.

Robert Baker

Pacific Palisades

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I am Jewish, and I believe that Palestinians should also have a country of their own. I propose that the Palestinian homeland be officially recognized by the U.N. one year after the last attack on Israel by an Arab commando or suicide bomber.

Michael I. Kane

Diamond Bar

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