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Europe's Anti-Semitism and Israel's Policies

March 17, 2004

Despite stating that criticism of Israeli policies "is both legitimate and necessary," Omer Bartov ("Memories Are Short, Hatred Is Forever," Commentary, March 15) goes on to demonize Europeans by suggesting that widespread anti-Semitism is reflected in a recent European poll identifying Israel as the most dangerous country in the world.

Contrary to what Bartov would have us believe, Europeans don't deny "the right of Israeli citizens to live in peace in their own country." Rather, they are deeply troubled by the irresponsible actions of a regional superpower with nuclear weapons that is flouting international law, expanding its borders, oppressing an entire people and helping to destabilize a volatile region of the world.

Though Bartov is justified in insisting that we be ever vigilant against signs of bigotry, he may want to broaden his scope to include the statement by Israel's Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim suggesting that Palestinians may be afflicted by a "genetic defect," or Israeli officials who are pondering population "transfer" as an option.

Eugene O'Carroll

Palo Alto

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Robert Scheer and Philip Stephens (Commentary, March 16) both claim that Europeans, though opposed to what the U.S. is doing in Iraq, are nevertheless qualified to fight terrorism. Neither mentions what the Europeans are doing to fight terrorism, besides their lip service to a daily offering of Israel to the god of terrorism. One may wonder if the god of terrorism isn't getting hungrier and hungrier, so that Israel alone will not be enough.

Bernard Lindner

Los Angeles

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