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Photos Don't Show Israel's Side of Conflict

March 31, 2004

The two-page photo editorial, "A Line in the Sand" (March 29), somehow made it into the news section. The Times would have us believe that the only people being affected by the fence are the Palestinians. You have presented your judgment that Israel's anti-terror fence is somehow worse than the brutal murder of nearly 1,000 Israeli civilians, the maiming of nearly 6,300 people and the carrying out of almost 21,000 terrorist attacks in an almost four-year period.

Following this line of reasoning, it is not surprising that the only Israeli shown is an armed soldier. Missing from the pictures are the bodies of children torn to pieces by a terrorist's blast, the blood-drenched streets of Israeli cities, or victims of terrorism struggling to cope with crippling injuries. For The Times, Israel has taken this measure simply to protect its "need for safety on buses, in pizza parlors, in cafes."

The next time Israeli rescue workers are forced to collect bodies and body parts, the next time doctors spend hours removing the shrapnel of a nail-laced bomb from a 5-year-old, or the next time a father buries his pregnant wife gunned down on one of Israel's highways, I hope The Times will reevaluate the judgment you have presented us. Forgive me for having my doubts. The situation in the Middle East is one of the most complex in the world. You have chosen to provide a shallow, one-dimensional and inaccurate presentation of this conflict.

Yuval Rotem

Consul General of Israel

Los Angeles

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