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Seeking a Weak Reed, Israel Bolsters Arafat

September 17, 2003

Re "U.S. Must Weigh In: Arafat Has Got to Go," Commentary, Sept. 12: Undertaking Robert Satloff's proposal that the United States should spearhead a diplomatic effort to have Yasser Arafat removed from "all positions in the Palestinian political hierarchy" would be disastrous in every way. In the eyes of the Palestinians and most Arabs, the U.S. would just be doing Israel's dirty work and reinforcing the not unreasonable view that what Israel wants, the U.S. gives. Moreover, it would remove the one Palestinian leader (whether you love him or hate him) with broad Palestinian support capable of striking a deal with Israel.

However, the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appears to have given up any interest in a comprehensive settlement and instead seems intent on finding a "weak reed" among the Palestinians who will agree to its self-serving demands. Any peace plan that comes out of such a process is doomed to failure.

Nicholas Marshi

Pacific Palisades

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All who want and pray for peace in the Middle East should welcome Israel's decision to remove Arafat. His promise to renounce violence was a lie. He has financed and supported terrorists who have killed hundreds of Israelis since 2000. At Camp David he denied his people a state, because it would have meant genuinely accepting the existence of Israel. Peace is not possible with Arafat.

He should not be permitted a comfortable exile. Arafat should be extradited to the U.S. and tried for the murder of the many Americans killed by his henchmen, which would prove that no terrorist, no matter how prominent, can escape justice. This would strengthen Palestinians who want peaceful coexistence with Israel.

Paul Kujawsky

Valley Village

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"Reversal of Fortune Lifts Arafat Again" (Sept. 15) points up the very basic problem in the Middle East. I wonder why it is not possible to impress on the people of the Middle East that it is the adherence to laws and not men that brings about advancement for better life of the populace.

Brahama D. Sharma

Pismo Beach

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