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Give More Background in Mideast Reporting

May 10, 2003

Re "A Hopeless Life for Palestinians in Lebanon's Refugee Camps," May 6: Why is it that your reporter does not ask the critical question of why, after 40 years, there are still refugee camps in Lebanon?

Refugees come to America all the time. To my knowledge we have no refugee camps. Refugees go to Europe all the time, but there are no refugee camps. I worked with a refugee from Iran in Sweden, but Sweden has no refugee camps. Israel is a country of refugees but there are no refugee camps. Indeed, why did Egypt refuse to take the Gaza Strip when offered it along with the Sinai? A good reporter would find out these things.

Arthur Yuwiler

Woodland Hills


Re "Settlements Pose Daunting Challenge," May 4: In her report on the Jewish community of Shiloh, Ruth Morris quotes Palestinian Abdullah Awad saying of his Jewish neighbors: "They want an excuse to kill us." Mariam Hasama, of Turmus Ayya, a nearby Arab village, skeptical that settlements would be dismantled, is quoted as saying: "I wish to live in peace with them, but I don't believe Shiloh will ever be empty."

If the condition for peace with Hasama is the emptying out of Shiloh and other Jewish communities established in the heart of the Jewish historical homeland, not only will there not be "peace" but I would assert that this is not peace. Arab terror preceded the building of any Jewish community in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria, administered by Israel since June 1967.

Would anyone tolerate, for the sake of peace, the emptying out of Arab villages in Israel? As for excuses to kill, Awad's neighbors need none; on the evening of May 5, Gidon Lichterman of Achiyah in the Shiloh Bloc was shot dead by Arab terrorists. Our determination to stay in Shiloh is thereby strengthened.

Yisrael Medad

Shiloh, West Bank


Re "Syria Still Mourns Land Lost to Israel," May 1: It astounds me that The Times prints a 26-paragraph article and never mentions that when the land was in Syrian hands, they fired artillery shells into Israel for 19 years. Syria lost the land in 1967 when it joined with other Arab nations to try to destroy Israel. Wouldn't you think that this information would be relevant to this article?

The only mention of why Israel has the land is that "Israel formally annexed two-thirds of the Golan Heights in 1981, and considers the land a security buffer zone."

Jerry Freedman

Los Angeles

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