Re the destruction of Joseph’s Tomb by Palestinians, Oct. 8: Where is the outrage? Imagine what would have happened if Jewish police stood by and allowed a Jewish mob to destroy a Muslim holy place! Does the destruction of a Jewish holy place by an Arab mob while Palestinian police stand by (after promising to protect it) deserve no more than inclusion in a list of other damage done by rioters? Is this an acceptance of attacks on Jews and things Jewish as a normal part of life?
It makes a mockery of any thought of giving Arabs any control of Jewish holy places. The destruction of dozens of such places in the Old City of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, along with the exclusion of Jews entirely from their most holy site, the Western Wall, was clearly of a piece with the current destruction.
I have visited Joseph’s Tomb. Numerous buses bring tourists to this important religious site. Palestinian hawkers make a living from these tourists. Now, no more. Not only have they desecrated a tomb dear to both Jews and Christians, but they have hurt their livelihood. Once again, Yasser Arafat and company have shot themselves in the foot. How sad.
Re “Barak Gives Arafat Ultimatum,” Oct. 8: Just who is Ehud Barak to think he has the right to issue ultimatums? Zionism is a racist, apartheid movement that has as its aim the stealing of Palestine from its indigenous people, the Palestinians. Not only do Zionists not have any right to any part of the West Bank or Gaza, they have no right to any part of Palestine.
The unilateral establishment of “Israel” on Palestinian land a half-century ago was an act of imperialism and racism, and now the pigeons are finally coming home to roost. The United States should end diplomatic recognition of the Zionist entity and recognize the PLO as the sole representative of all the people of Palestine, from Gaza to the West Bank.
RONALD O. RICHARDS
Michael Ramirez’s Oct. 6 cartoon (Commentary) seriously misreads recent events in the Middle East by equating the Israeli government and Palestinian rioters. It has not been the Israelis who have been instigating violence in an effort to abort the fragile peace process. The government of Barak has reluctantly responded to the provocative acts of the Palestinian shock troops, whose aim is anything but peace.
From the distance of two oceans and thousands of miles it is easy to avoid assessing blame and to conclude that both parties bear equal responsibility for recent tragic events. But the facts prove otherwise. The rioters and the promoters of violence are not the equivalent of those who seek to keep the peace and to further the pursuit of peace. It has not been the Israeli government that has been praying at the “wall of hate.”
DAVID A. LEHRER