Re "End of the Line for a 'Martyr,' " Dec. 31: Such an inside story, that missed so many inside facts. A Palestinian educational system that teaches hate and a dream to destroy Israel. A corrupt Palestinian Authority that broke every promise it ever made and stole the money given for the benefit of its people. The city of Jenin, one of the first that Israel withdrew from, which became a hotbed of hatred instead of a place of hope and peace.
Yasser Arafat, who was offered compromise in Camp David and turned to war; a terrorist who kills women and children that you turn into a "martyr" -- the article missed the true inside story.
Rabbi David Eliezrie
Tracy Wilkinson and The Times must be very proud. You have taken someone who boasts of bringing suicide bombings to the mainstream and of making a conscious decision to forgo peace in favor of terror and made him a hero. I can't wait for your follow-up article on the "heroic" acts of the Sept. 11 "martyrs."
Re "Palestinian Towns Wobbling on Last Legs," Dec. 30: Palestinians thrived under the Oslo pact and the umbrella of Israel's economy. Israel offered a final settlement deemed fair and even generous by both the Clinton and Bush administrations. But the Palestinian leadership, supported by a majority of Palestinians, stopped negotiations and chose instead a militant response with the appalling results described in your article.
Again and again, as in 1947, 1967, 1973 and 1987, Arabs chose pride and illusion over reality and reason toward their worsening fate.
Gerald L. Landsman
I almost cried as I read Wilkinson's article about the Palestinian towns. Ariel Sharon must be grinning as his brutal policy of occupation and annexation goes unchallenged.
With President Bush adopting Sharon's policy of destroying Iraq and tacitly endorsing Israel's policy toward the Palestinians, Sharon and the Likud's dream of annexing the West Bank and Gaza has become a reality.
European and international condemnations are ineffectual in the face of the war hysteria created by Bush. The brutality of the occupation and targeted assassinations will unfortunately breed a constant wave of suicide bombers.
Israel has not learned a lesson from its own history.
Remo G. Tabello