Arab Suicide Bombing in Israel

* In response to "7 Israelis Killed in Suicide Bombing," April 7:

What does it take to make a massacre? Killing of Arabs qualifies, but apparently killing of Jews does not.

Is it any wonder that Jews question the objectivity of the news media? In all their reporting, last month's events in Hebron are repeatedly referred to as the "Hebron massacre," while on April 6 Jews were "killed when a car exploded," almost as though it were nobody's fault. Then, these killings are reported as "retaliation" for the Hebron attack, while the latter seemed to come out of the clear blue--not as a frustrated response to the murders of hundreds of Jews by Palestinians in a continuing genocidal war by the Palestinians against the Jews. The Hebron event is repeated as background information in every story related to Israel, while any attack on Jews is invariably one day's news.

Particularly during the remembrance of the slaughter of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, it behooves us to be especially aware of dangerous subtle undercurrents and not-so-subtle manifestations of anti-Semitism, which refuses to die even in our multicultural society . . . or is it just not politically correct to criticize, let alone condemn Arabs?

DAVIDA FISCHMAN

Los Angeles

* Regarding the slaying and injury of Jews in Afula and Ashdod--will we make the same demands on the PLO as we made on Israel after the Hebron attack?

Will Arafat issue an unequivocal condemnation of the murders and murderers--or will he finally be pushed into a mealy-mouthed declaration of regret for the "spilling of blood on both sides"?

Will the PLO make a series of gestures, concessions and confidence-building measures toward Israel to convince it of the PLO's sincere desire for peace with Israel? Of course nobody even dreams that Israel will suspend the negotiations in response to these murders as did the PLO after Hebron.

Will the PLO or any Arab country pay compensation to the victims and families in Afula and Ashdod?

Does the PLO intend to disarm and jail the organizers and planners of these killings? Will Hamas be outlawed as a terrorist organization under Palestinian autonomy?

Will Arabs disavow and condemn these murders? Will the U.N. Security Council swing into action and pass a resolution unequivocally condemning these killings?

It's obviously fatuous to expect that this time will be different from previous occurrences. Israel will again be expected to forgive and forget the most atrocious, outrageous, inhuman and barbaric attacks upon its people.

SIDNEY BROUNSTEIN

Beverly Hills

* The Times' editorial of April 2 praises Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's consenting to an international presence in Hebron and describes him as a great peacemaker. Rabin is applauded for his "commitment to peace."

However, it should be understood that while the principle of "intent" is crucial in determining guilt in a court of law, "intent" is not the essential test of responsibility in things political. The true test of statesmanship is not intent, but rather results and consequences.

If Rabin's many compromises with the Arabs result not in peace and security for Israel, but rather in the establishment of a militant armed PLO state, in Israeli return to the indefensible pre-1967 cease-fire lines, in Syrian control of the Golan Heights and Israel's water supply sources, in further Arab terrorism against Israel, in the redivision of Jerusalem, and in an Israeli society torn by religious and political fratricide verging on civil war, then Yitzhak Rabin will go down in history not as the great peacemaker but rather as the Marshal Henri Philippe Petain of Israel.

SIDNEY BALDWIN, President

Zionist Organization of America

Southern Pacific Region, Cypress

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