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Gaza's Pain Generates a Misdirected Blame

September 20, 2002

Re "In the Gaza Strip, Terror Can Create a Language All Its Own," Commentary, Sept. 17: One cannot help but be moved by the danger and fear confronting Ghada Ageel's family and neighbors in their Gaza Strip homes. I can't imagine a single American who would tolerate being strafed by tank fire. It is a tragic situation that cries out for resolution.

Equally tragic, however, is that Ageel seems capable only of blame. She blames an impotent U.N., a U.S. president focused on war with Iraq--everyone other than her own people and government, which consistently and repeatedly reject every opportunity for peace presented to them. We reap what we sow. If Palestinians would but plant a seed of peace in their hearts and in the hearts of their children, then perhaps the sounds of suicide bombings in the streets of Jerusalem and the rumble of Israeli tanks in Gaza would fall silent.

Rabbi Michael Resnick

Los Angeles

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Ageel asks to whom can she turn for peace in the Middle East. I would suggest she become active in pressuring Hamas, Yasser Arafat and whomever else might be prevailed upon to work toward peace with Israel. There are as many or more of the incidents of terror and death that she describes in Gaza in Israel. I don't read about the Palestinian Authority conducting investigations of atrocities perpetrated upon Israelis with "whitewashed" results, or any kind of results.

The Palestinians and the Israelis will have to want to work together for a just peace. If Ageel wants a better life for her children, as Israeli mothers want for their children, it's time to move beyond playing the "blame game" and start working on figuring out how to make peace with Israel, period. If she qualifies the word "peace," only a stalemate will result.

Deborah Shapiro

Woodland Hills

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