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U.S. Election Hinders Mideast Peace Talks

November 19, 2003

Re "U.S. Must Return to the Table," Commentary, Nov. 16: The major obstacle to the U.S. going back to the negotiating table with the Israelis and Palestinians is that the Bush administration is involved in a reelection campaign. The comment that President Bush needs to leave the Christian crusade and the bullying unilateralism at home simply won't happen. The right-wing conservatives who are running this administration are pandering to the Christian right because they need the votes.

Currently, because the polls indicate that support is waning, administration officials are desperately trying to figure out how fast they can get out of the mess they created in Iraq. One of the major reasons for the rise in terrorism has been the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and the perceived tilt toward Israel. If the Bush administration had the vision, diplomatic skills and integrity to tackle this conflict, much of the wind in the sails of the terrorists would have disappeared. Sadly, U.S. involvement will have to wait until a more committed, intelligent and honest administration is in place.

Cathy Dowling

Spring Valley, Calif.

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After reading the column by Avraham Burg, it is obvious that Dorothy did not go to Oz alone with Toto. Sit down and talk to people who want to destroy you? Maybe we should have tried it with Hitler.

When Israel is on Arab maps and they stop teaching hate to little children, maybe there will be a chance to talk. When the Palestinian people decide they no longer want to live in poverty and have their money stolen to support Mrs. Arafat in Paris, maybe there can be talks. Until then let them stew in their own juice.

Richard Goldner

Los Angeles

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