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The Great Divide Between Israel, Palestinians

November 06, 2002

In "The Great Divide" (Opinion, Nov. 3) you published two pieces on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by two Israelis. Where was the Palestinian viewpoint?

Israel's brutal and illegal 35-year occupation is the source of the violence between the two countries. The Israelis are stealing Palestinian land and water. Ehud Barak's "generous offer" was nothing more than a series of Bantustans in which the Palestinians would live surrounded by Israeli troops and settlers.

As an American Jew, I support the struggle of the Palestinians for liberation, whether in their own state or as equal citizens in one democratic secular state alongside Israeli Jews.

There is no hope as long as an unjust Israeli state forever oppresses the Palestinians. Hope lies in the end of the occupation and the establishment of full and equal rights for everyone who lives in Palestine and Israel.

Karin Pally

Santa Monica

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"The Great Divide" says more about the Middle East than The Times realizes. Each writer ignores the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by an Israeli fundamentalist seven years ago. This is what triggered the unraveling of the peace process.

The real "great divide" lies within both Israel and the West Bank, between those willing to return to the pre-1967 borders and those willing to oppose such agreements violently.

George Saade

Downey

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David Grossman suggests that Israel being concerned only with its security is something negative. In addition, I have to question his sincerity when he suggests that Ariel Sharon was the cause of the present intifada. It has been acknowledged that Yasser Arafat came back from Camp David with the plan to use terrorism to leverage better terms. In regard to making concessions and to offering contiguous land to the Palestinians, the Israelis offered numerous concessions and Arafat made none.

Grossman's suggestion that Israel has been "repressing" the Palestinians is another example of his twisting the facts. Israel is no different from any other country.

When the sniper was murdering civilians in the Washington area, our government closed down roads with checkpoints and cordoned off areas in much the same way.

When Israel, under pressure from the U.S., took the checkpoints off Jenin, within 24 hours Israel civilians were being blown up by terrorists again. Israel has been responsible for building colleges, schools, hospitals and infrastructure including sewers and electricity for the Palestinians. To suggest that Israel is without compassion or concern for the plight of the Palestinians is disingenuous and untrue.

Lou Averbach

Santa Monica

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