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Israel and the leaking of Palestinian negotiating positions; remembering Ike and JFK; new security devices for mall parking lots

January 30, 2011

The broken peace process

Re "Israel's lost weekend," Editorial, Jan. 25

If Israel lost a weekend, the Palestinians have lost 17 years of opportunities to make peace, having consistently chosen inflexible demands and violence instead.

Has The Times forgotten that it was Israel that offered the Palestinians almost all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2000, and was summarily rejected? Or that Israel removed all of its settlements from the Gaza Strip, which was followed by a barrage of Palestinian rocket attacks that continue today? How then can anyone legitimately claim that the settlements are an obstacle to peace?

Lastly, and just to correct the historical record, those who claim that Israel's settlements are illegal should familiarize themselves with the San Remo Resolution, adopted by the League of Nations in 1922. They might be surprised to learn that this law is still on the books.

Bruce Friedman

Los Angeles

We keep saying this is the end of the peace process — the two-state solution — and indeed this is sad. The Palestinians, whom Israel vilifies as unwilling to make concessions, were willing to give away everything for a small sovereign state.

So if the two-state solution really is dead, Israel's worst nightmare is now reality. The Palestinian cause is now a civil rights cause — equal rights for all inhabitants of the state of Israel, whether Jewish or not. As Americans, how can we not support that?

Erica Hahn

Monrovia

The world needs a reality check. Take a look at a map of the Middle East. There's Syria, Egypt and Jordan, all nations that border Israel, each one of which covers so much more territory than Israel, with or without the settlements.

Why won't Syria, Egypt and Jordan open their borders to the Palestinian refugees? If these neighboring countries would accept the Palestinians, they could finally get on with their lives. Why is this option not even discussed?

Ellen Switkes

Sherman Oaks

Political rivals, not enemies

Re "Speech therapy," Opinion, Jan. 25

David Eisenhower's thoughts were most comforting and enriching. He reflected on an era in politics when Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy were just political opponents, not enemies.

President Eisenhower is part of the GOP past we never hear about anymore. He believed the government was part of the solution. He used his office to manage the New Deal, not destroy it.

He provided us with the interstate highway system. When the "states' rights" mob challenged the integration of public schools in Arkansas, he sent in Army troops.

Many of us can still say "I like Ike."

Frank Ferrone

El Cajon

The military has never endangered "our liberties or democratic processes." The real prophecy in Eisenhower's farewell speech is that we "must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow."

Fifty years on, it's hard to imagine a better description of how Washington operates. The national debt has grown significantly under every president since Lyndon Johnson and has exploded under the last two. Congress after Congress has sent the bill to future taxpayers. Loading debt onto citizens who won't vote until today's leaders have long since finished congratulating themselves for their courage and compassion has proved very convenient indeed.

Michael Smith

Cynthiana, Ky.

In the years since 1961 and the historic speeches of Eisenhower and Kennedy, the "military-industrial complex" has been busy.

More than $1 trillion has been spent on questionable wars against countries that did not attack us. This money could have helped end poverty at home and abroad. Instead, science, technology and resources were used to kill millions of people. The speeches of Eisenhower and Kennedy did not seem to make a lot of difference.

What is needed is not speech therapy but behavior modification.

Irving Sarnoff

Highland Park

Lost in the mall parking lot

Re "Servant or snoop in the parking garage?," Jan. 23

Is allowing any random person to find out where you have parked your car really a good idea? How long will it take before we have a new law named after someone who was attacked by an ex-spouse or stalker?

Local and state legislators should be proactive and write a law now that would make it illegal to disclose car location information to anyone other than the person who parked the car and to law enforcement officials.

Richard Kraft

West Hollywood

When you enter a mall parking lot, you are on private property. Mall parking lots are very attractive to thieves. If you don't want to be on camera, park elsewhere.

As a woman, I welcome the cameras, because these garages are often creepy.

Jan Stejskal

Los Angeles

How to handle MTV's 'Skins'

Re "Parents vs. 'Skins,' " Editorial, Jan 26

I appreciate your warning parents of the danger

of MTV's "Skins" show, but I disagree that monitoring children's viewing and learning to use the V-chip are the only answers.

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