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40 years after the Six-Day War

June 07, 2007

Re "A holy city still divided," "Change cast in concrete" and "Clashing values alter a city's face," three-part series, June 3-5

In the first installment of this series, The Times details the history and circumstances of Jerusalem since the 1967 Six-Day War, quoting a former Israeli paratrooper as saying that "he now believes Israel should yield on Jerusalem in the interests of peace."

What he and The Times failed to state is that now there can and should be no negotiations concerning Jerusalem until the Islamists no longer desire to drive the Jews in Israel into the sea. The article ignores this aspect of the situation, as if Islamist leaders have not been continuously making such statements.


Los Angeles


I am amazed that such a comprehensive article manages to omit or distort key facets of the ongoing conflict. Readers deserve to know what transpired during the Jordanian Arab occupation of East Jerusalem from 1949 to 1967. The Jewish population was driven out, and dozens of synagogues were destroyed. Jews were denied access to Judaism's holy sites.

Under Israeli rule, Christians, Muslims and Jews have access to their holy sites in Jerusalem. By contrast, in Palestinian-controlled Bethlehem, much of the Christian population has been harassed and driven from the city in recent years.

The discussion of Israel's security wall is oddly qualified, suggesting that "Israel insists that the barrier is aimed at keeping out suicide bombers." Why would you ignore available and quantifiable data showing that suicide bombings have fallen dramatically with the barrier? The number of lives saved by the barrier overwhelms any debate about particular municipal services. Jerusalem's Arab residents nevertheless have a better standard of living and human rights than they would in any of the neighboring Arab countries.




Having just returned from Jerusalem and witnessing the suffocating effect of Israel's wall on virtually the whole Palestinian population, I must conclude that, although Israel has the right to build a barrier, it must do so on its own border. But because much of the barrier is on Palestinian land, this is really a matter not of security but of theft: of houses, farms, precious water and of people's futures. Further, because the International Court of Justice (born largely out of the Nuremberg trials) rendered its 14-1 verdict in 2004 that this wall violates international law and should be dismantled and reparations paid to those who've suffered damages, we must therefore join the international chorus of justice and peace and say to Ehud Olmert, "Mr. Prime Minister, tear down this wall!"



The writer is chairman of the Middle East Fellowship of Southern California.


I applaud The Times for taking on the issue of the situation with Israel and the Palestinians since the 1967 war. Israelis do not issue any housing permits to Palestinians without asking for prohibitive fees. The Israelis have used this as a pretext for demolishing Palestinian homes, causing 200,000 Palestinians to become homeless.

If Israel is to achieve moral authority and security, it must return this land to the Palestinians to whom it rightfully belongs.


Los Angeles


Who paid for this advertorial? We learn in a timeline accompanying the first story in the series, "Israel declares independence in May 1948. War follows," but not that this war was the result of an Arab invasion of the new state.

Then we learn that "in the Six-Day Middle East War, Israel captures all of Jerusalem and regains access to the holiest Jewish sites," but not that this war too was a result of Arab aggression.

The Times suggests that Israel ought to grant some concessions to the Arabs. Has The Times considered that perhaps the Arabs ought to grant some concessions to Israel?


Huntington Beach


The intolerance practiced by ultra-orthodox Jews toward secular Jews in Israel shocks all citizens who believe in freedom of speech and religion.

Any religion that preaches exclusivity, preeminence of its doctrines, salvation limited to the elect and damnation for others, intolerance of dissent and that demands conformity and unquestioning obedience to its teaching also demands bigotry as a religious duty.

This is exactly what fundamentalism teaches. Jews should be the first to recognize the dangers of this religious intolerance, whether it is practiced by their own or by others.


Costa Mesa

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