In " 'Palestine Is Everything' to the Arabs" (March 17), the timeline begins with the Palestinian uprising in September 2000. Why? A month and a half earlier was the historic turning point: the July 2000 Camp David Middle East peace summit, where Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat showed the true goal of the people he represents by refusing even to negotiate on the most generous offer ever presented for peaceful Palestinian statehood (aside from the original one in 1948, which was also refused).
Why was this pivotal moment, which changed the entire direction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, omitted?
West Los Angeles
Re "Israeli Bulldozer Crushes U.S. Activist to Death," March 17: A "regrettable incident" that, if not a deliberate act of murder by the already-bloodied hands of Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, is certainly another reckless act of violence against the Palestinian people and against those who witness their incessant suffering. A regrettable incident, the likely aim of which is spreading fear to discourage protest. We hope that Rachel Corrie's young life has not ended in vain.
In God's name, why didn't the Israeli government pack up these activists and ship them home? That it allowed these demonstrations says much for the freedoms allowed in that country. That this young woman created such enemies because of her beliefs is a tragedy finalized in her brutal death.
We Americans are just discovering the result of terrorism on the human psyche. The day may come here at home when such demonstrations conflict with military intelligence, a day when even our beloved freedom of speech presents such a vignette of horror (as it has in the past). How will we, as Americans, handle it?
Of course, my heart goes out to the family of Rachel Corrie. Her e-mail (Commentary, March 19) contained many comparisons about the violent existence of children in Gaza and those of her hometown Olympia, Wash. She remarks about Palestinian children living in homes with tank shell holes, and how children in the United States "don't usually have their parents shot."
She asks the question, why in Gaza and not in Olympia? In Olympia there are no Hamas terrorists who encourage the children to become suicide bombers.
In Olympia, a suicide bomber would properly be called a murderer, not a martyr. In Olympia there are no Hamas gunmen purposely hiding among the population, enticing Israeli troops to enter their cities, where Hamas fully understands that civilians will be killed.
Perhaps if I could have spoken to Rachel about her e-mail before she decided that a "just cause" is to stand in front of an Israeli bulldozer, I could have convinced her that such actions only serve to encourage terrorists. The irony of her actions is that she too has become a victim of terrorism.
If members of the International Solidarity Movement really want to put themselves in harm's way, I suggest the following: ride buses in Israel, the same buses children use to go to school; go to an outdoor cafe to enjoy a cup of coffee; go dancing in a discotheque; or go to religious services. In Israel, all of the above are far more dangerous than standing in front of a bulldozer.
Now the Sharon government can no longer credibly claim that its policies only harm terrorists.
It appears that a lone protester can stop a column of Chinese tanks. Just don't try it with an Israeli bulldozer.
I am outraged at the clearly wanton bulldozing of a peaceful American woman by the Israelis. The headlines juxtaposing this tragedy with the Bush plan for unilateral war upon Iraq were telling and linked. Indeed, it would seem that our foreign policy in the Middle East has been hijacked and misdirected toward Iraq. It should have been directed toward Israel for its fierce repression of the Palestinians and occupation of the Palestinian territories in long-standing violation of U.N. Resolution 242.
Perhaps we are fighting the war on Iraq to protect Israel. However, the effort is not worth American goodwill in the world, nor our blood and resources. After all, they bulldoze people, don't they?