Paul Conrad's cartoon (June 23), depicting President Reagan as the 41st hostage shackled to a Star of David, is an outrage.
American and Israeli policy on this issue is both clear and correct. No capitulation to terrorist demands. Otherwise, we will forever be at their mercy. There is never a final payment made to terrorists; it merely escalates with every perceived success they achieve.
To refresh Conrad's memory, those were Shia terrorists who hijacked the TWA flight and brutally killed an American serviceman and flung his body onto the Tarmac at Beirut Airport. It was Shia terrorists who separated out passengers with Jewish-sounding names from the main group. They learned that technique from the Nazis.
There is nothing that can remotely justify this type of terrorist behavior and the sooner the Western democracies adopt a unified policy, which does not give in to terrorist demands, the better off we all will be.
We at the Hispanic/Jewish Dialogue of Greater Los Angeles believe that Conrad owes the Jewish community and the American public at large an apology.
FERNANDO DEL RIO
The Times has received 85 letters on the cartoon; all but 3 were critical.