LETTERS

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April 29, 2003

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

[Re: "U.S. unjustly looks to Syria," Yasser Ghanchi, 4/22/03.] While I have no answer for many of the claims you make regarding Syria's "poor victim" status, your statements regarding Israel, Hezbollah, and the Palestinians are simply too ridiculous to go unanswered.

First, let's straighten out your nomenclature: Hezbollah, Hamas, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and other "militant" groups are terrorists. They plan and carry out homicide bombings in crowded public areas such as buses and marketplaces with the sole intent of inflicting death and destruction. It is not uncommon for them to leave behind a second wave of explosives timed to go off when the rescue teams and paramedics arrive. That isn't "regrettable," that's inhuman and brutal.

Most Israelis will admit that the Palestinians have a case and deserve a state of their own. The Palestinian Authority, if not the majority of Palestinians themselves, doesn't aim for a peaceful compromise with Israel. Their goal is the complete destruction of the Jewish state. One of Arafat's top officials wrote a doctorate on why the Holocaust didn't happen; Arafat himself denies that the Jews have any historical claim to Israel, conveniently ignoring in excess of 4,000 years of history and direct physical evidence. In school textbooks and official documents of the Palestinian Authority, the published map does not acknowledge Israel's existence--its outline is filled in completely with the Palestinian flag.

Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat a staggering 93 percent of what he was asking for at the Camp David Accords of 2000. Arafat refused. If this man truly cared about the plight of his people, he would be willing to make the same ugly compromises the Israelis have put forth, such as the division of Jerusalem. Let's hope this new movement within the P.A. isn't just another false start, and the peace process can recommence, with real results.

Esther Bergdahl