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Journalism and terrorism

July 27, 2007

Re "A byline for Hamas?" Opinion, July 22

I would rather that people write Op-Ed articles than fire rockets or build illegal settlements. The protests of Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper are heartfelt, but their claim to moral superiority is empty. Israel had its own terrorist groups before it had its state, and the occupation of the West Bank after 1967 has made a mockery of international law. All sides have blood on their hands, and the sooner we substitute real dialogue for sanctimonious posturing, the better off we all will be.

Patrick Frank

Monterey

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Bravo to Hier and Cooper for criticizing The Times for printing an Op-Ed article by a Hamas leader. Someone must explain to The Times that journalistic standards do not require giving a forum to terrorists. In fact, if journalistic standards have any meaning at all, they require that terrorists -- because they are beyond the pale of what we consider civilized conduct -- be denied the privilege of expressing their deeply immoral views in a newspaper. What is wrong with The Times?

Suzanne Zaharoni

Beverly Hills

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Hier and Cooper write that "just like Hitler, Hamas was democratically elected." They were half-right, and, I believe, informed enough to know better. While Germans certainly supported Hitler by the late 1930s, the fact is that he was not elected. He was appointed by President Paul von Hindenburg. The writers also asked whether the editors would have welcomed articles by Auschwitz's Dr. Josef Mengele justifying his gruesome medical experiments. I hope they would. Perhaps if Mengele had been more publicly associated with his experiments, public outrage might have stopped or limited his work. Hier and Cooper want us to see Hamas members as equivalent to the KKK or the Virginia Tech killer. They're not. They are the democratically elected representatives of the most potentially volatile real estate in the world. It is in the interests of the United States to know Hamas well. The Times does a service publishing its views.

Jim Corbett

San Clemente

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It seems that Hamas would have to attain the janjaweed's genocidal success in Darfur for The Times to deny it a byline.

Charles S. Berdiansky

Los Angeles

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