Finally, a sane response to the insanity of the so-called "peace negotiations" between the Israelis and Palestinians (Column Right by Charles Krauthammer, Jan. 29).
For too long the world has been fooled by the rhetoric spewed forth by such "leaders" as Yasser Arafat. And for too long Israel has been blamed for being an aggressor and labeled an occupying nation, oppressive and inhumane. It's too bad that Israel didn't force all Arabs out of the country after its miraculous victory in 1967. Had that happened, I believe the country wouldn't be suffering today at the hands of murderers.
I agree 100% with Krauthammer. No talks and complete separation of Israelis and Palestinians until (if ever) the true aggressors want real peace, and not the destruction of Jews and the Jewish state. That is, after all, the fanatics' main goal.
SHARON MORGAN, Los Angeles
Krauthammer refers to those who want to keep the peace process alive after the latest murderous act perpetuated by Hamas fanatics as fanatics themselves. He obviously has fallen victim to the emotions of the moment. Murder is not new to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it is used often to achieve strategic and political objectives. Israel uses it daily in its confrontation with children, demonstrators and political activists.
To say that the majority of Palestinians are against peace is totally inconsistent with the facts. The majority of them celebrated the peace process. They carried olive branches and shook hands with their occupiers, in the mistaken belief that when Israel signs a peace treaty, it means it. The obvious truth is different. Palestinian men and women still languish in jail, many of whom are being tortured. The killings, by both Jewish extremists and occupation soldiers, continue. The land grab and settlements in the West Bank never stopped, in direct contradiction to the peace treaty's requirement.
To suggest that there is an alternative to seeking peace is an idiocy that will only propel the radicalization of both the Palestinian and Israeli people, increasing rather that decreasing, the murders on both sides.
NABIL NASER, Downey
Re "Suicide Bombing Kills 19 in Israel," Jan. 23:
One major point has been neglected, namely the role of Syria in this and similar cases. The terrorist organization, Islamic Jihad, that claimed credit for this atrocity made its announcement in the Syrian capital, Damascus. This city is also the headquarters of at least one other terrorist group, led by Ahmed Jibril, a known opponent of the Middle East peace agreement. Similarly, the Syrian army controls major parts of Lebanon from which Hezbollah terrorists launch their attacks against Israel not only to cause casualties but also to torpedo any peaceful attempt to settle the Middle East conflict.
While the U.S. and Israel try to hammer out at least an interim arrangement on the Golan Heights and court Syrian President Hafez Assad to talk about peace, he not only harbors terrorists but very likely encourages their activities. It is time to hold Syria responsible for terrorist attacks that are initiated from territories under its control or supported by it. Peace initiatives should be suspended until Assad makes real efforts to curb terrorism. His claim that he does not have anything to do with these attacks does not wash any longer.
DAVID SHICHOR, Fullerton