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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Carnage in Jerusalem Is All Too Familiar

August 21, 2003

Re "Bombers Kill 38 in Iraq, Israel," Aug. 20: After the carnage in Jerusalem, we hear yet again that a White House spokesman has denounced the bombing and that Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has announced his strong condemnation of this horrible act, which does not serve the interests of the Palestinian people. These words sound so familiar, so old and so worn out that I can't help wondering: Are these real people talking? Or do they have a tape recorder they programmed long, long ago that just plays the same message when someone presses a button?

Or maybe it's all by remote. And all the reporters have their scripts handed to them so they don't have to go to the press conference (which isn't there anyway). They dutifully file their reports saying that so-and-so said the same thing he always says. They're just little bodies, after all. Who will notice?

Inna Tysoe

Sacramento

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As I contemplated the latest atrocity in the terror war that Palestinian militants are waging against the people of Israel, I conceived an interesting idea. What would happen if the Israeli government stated that for every person murdered on its soil by terrorists, the state of Israel would permanently annex 10 square kilometers (6.2 square miles) of Palestinian land in payment for that life?

I suspect that we would hear a lot of screaming and yelling about the unfairness of the plan, but I also suspect that the majority of Palestinians, the ones who want this conflict resolved so they and their families can have normal lives, would finally gain the motivation they need to come down on their militants, like the proverbial ton of bricks, and force them to abandon their commitment to the Nazi dream of exterminating the Jews.

Dennis Anthony

Los Angeles

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An Aug. 20 letter writer believes that Israel's security barrier -- which costs more than $2 million a kilometer, cages Palestinians into 42% of the West Bank and permits Israeli settlements to continue to spread unfettered like a cancer over the remainder of Palestinian land -- "may actually promote peace." For 36 years Israel has been building settlements on Palestinian land under the pretext that this would increase Israel's security. After helping to finance the construction of illegal settlements and the movement of settlers into the West Bank and East Jerusalem with U.S. tax dollars, isn't it about time we woke up to the fact that, first and foremost, the goal of Israeli leaders is to absorb as much Palestinian land as possible into an expanded Israel?

Ken Galal

San Francisco

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