* Thank you for the remarkable coverage of the even more remarkable events that occurred on Sept. 13. I will treasure this edition forever (Sept. 14).
There was one omission, however, which may be of interest to readers.
The prayer that concluded Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s speech was omitted both in the Hebrew in which it was delivered, and in its English translation.
The prayer: “May he who brings peace to his universe (heavens), bring peace to us, to all Israel and all the world, and let us say: Amen.”
ROBERTA B. GILLERMAN
* Many of us, Jews, Christians and Muslims, who have worked and dreamed for years of a fair and equitable settlement of the Israeli/Palestinian dilemma are cheering today as the peace accord is signed. We well know that the road ahead is rocky and that a real peace and accord between these two peoples is by no means assured. And so, we cry: Hooray! Hooray! Pray! Pray!
* Defenders of the Israeli-PLO deal have cited “the political realities” as their major defense for the astounding reconciliation between these two opposing forces. Unfortunately, they have been extremely selective in their perception of the realities.
When the euphoria dissipates among the Israelis and their friends in the United States, when the brutal realities of the Middle East reassert themselves, and when the Israeli people begin to feel the price and the pain of their surrender to the Arabs, the cry in Israel will go up: “Who did this to us?” And the answer will be found at the door of Gen. Yitzhak Rabin, the modern Flavius Josephus.
* I was born in 1948, the same year that the war between the Jews and the Palestinians resulted in the state of Israel. It was also the same year that the nationalist government in South Africa officially declared apartheid. I am delighted that the world now witnesses the end of apartheid and peace between the two foes of the Middle East. I don’t appreciate the pessimism of the U.S. press. All that needs to be said now is, “Thank God!”
* When the Cold War ended, taxpayers demanded that the U.S. government slash defense spending drastically, eliminating thousands of jobs in the process.
Now that the Israelis are finally making peace with the Palestinians, would it be reasonable to expect our government to stop payment of the billions of dollars it has been sending to Israel every year and use the money to create new jobs in our country?
* There was agreement of all parties that the success of the Oslo Israeli-PLO negotiations was due primarily to the absence of the media. This should give the media pause to reassess the way they are pursuing their profession in society today--but it probably won’t.
RALPH J. REYNOLDS
* Since conservatives delight in giving credit to Ronald Reagan for the downfall of communism in the Soviet Union, let me be the first liberal to congratulate Bill Clinton for bringing peace to the Middle East.
* Yasser Arafat invited to the White House. Next will it be Mohammed Farah Aidid, Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro?
PETER C. LATSIS
* President Clinton has applauded the courage and wisdom of Prime Minister Rabin’s willingness to enter into an agreement with the PLO and Yasser Arafat. Will Clinton have the same courage and wisdom to normalize relations with Castro in Cuba? The Cuban people, who are being starved by American policy, have never engaged in terrorism or war against the American people.
According to reports, Castro is anxious to establish friendly relations with the United States. This would be a wonderful time for Clinton to follow the lead of Rabin and Arafat and enter into normal relations with Castro and the Cuban people.
* After witnessing the ceremony on the signing of the peace accords between the PLO and Israel, and reading the comprehensive history behind them in World Report (Sept. 14), it appears quite clear that it was Arafat who held this all together. He personified his courage and sense of grace in being the one who extended his hand in friendship to Prime Minister Rabin.
And let us bear in mind that Rabin in his remarks spoke of violence and the past, whereas Arafat spoke of peace and the future. The fact that Arafat was welcomed and praised by all who met him on Capitol Hill proves that all we had to do was get to know the man. Maybe if we had, this could have all happened a long time ago and so many lives could have been saved and hatred diminished.
JULIET R. RISTOM