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Hurdles in path to Mideast peace

March 23, 2007

Re "Peace and practicality," editorial, March 21

Your view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems one-sided. Your statement should have read instead that both Israel and Palestine have an absolute right to exist. This editorial makes it sound as if Palestine's existence is dependant on America's and Israel's approval. That is, of course, not true. Palestine should exist now, period.

JAN DE BONT

Los Angeles

*

The meeting between the U.S. consul general in Jerusalem and Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Authority's highly regarded finance minister, is an encouraging sign that our country is abandoning ideological fantasy for practical realism. After a year in which sanctions failed to dislodge Hamas and bring back Fatah, it is clear that a Palestinian national government made up of both parties will be necessary to negotiate and implement a final settlement with Israel.

To that end, our country should relax banking restrictions to facilitate the massive aid that Saudi Arabia has committed to strengthening Palestinian institutions.

MICHAEL SEVERAL

Los Angeles

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Your suggestion that the United States should follow the European lead in talking with the new Palestinian government is remarkable. It would appear that you condone talks with an entity that has not renounced violence and refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. I ask, what does the European community know better than the United States? The European community only 70 to 80 years ago, via action and inaction, was responsible for the deaths of 6 million Jews. Before World War II, anti-Semitism was a national pastime in many European nations, which resulted in the deaths of many Jews.

The Times has no understanding of the past. Surely, if the United States wished to condemn Israel to death and destruction, the best advice would to recommend following the Europeans lead. Is that your intent?

ED SINGER

Santa Monica

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Re "Palestinians OK coalition," March 18

If the head of the new Palestinian coalition government affirms its continuing use of terrorism against Israeli civilians, then this new government is inherently not interested in peace. If the Western world gives economic aid to the new Palestinian government, it will be complicit in the subsequent terrorism.

If, however, the Western world continues to insist on the Palestinians disavowing terror, it will have a chance of bringing true peace to the region.

BRUCE DOV KRULWICH

Beit Shemesh, Israel

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