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Pointing fingers in the Mideast conflict

Re “Israel to Halt Bombing for 48 Hours,” July 31

Looking at history, this is yet another repeat of the withdrawal from Lebanon six years ago and the withdrawal from Gaza a year ago. Both led directly to terror because they were not met on the Arab side with a commitment to end terror.

How many more withdrawals does Israel have to carry out before the world realizes that the only way to bring peace is a two-sided commitment to peace? How many flare-ups does the world need to see before we admit the real problem, the lack of commitment to peace on the part of the Arab countries?

BRUCE DOV KRULWICH

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Beit Shemesh, Israel

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The United States and Israel seem to be walking hand in hand into an abyss. If the present moment resembles any in history, it is perhaps the release of that famous news photo by Eddie Adams of a South Vietnamese police official summarily executing a suspected Viet Cong operative with a pistol shot to the head on a Saigon street during the Tet offensive of 1968, an image that raised doubts in the minds of millions of Americans as to the nature of their government’s partnership with South Vietnam in the “war on communism.” Images of the dead, injured and homeless of Lebanon today should raise similar doubts as to the nature of this government’s partnership with Israel in the “war on terror.”

MARK C. EADES

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Oakland

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Does the right of a nation to defend itself against terrorism include the right to murder children sleeping in their homes at night? Or would it be wiser for a nation to recognize that such actions might actually engender terrorist acts in retaliation?

DAVID S. LARSON

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Los Angeles

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Re “Israel Begins to Mobilize Reservists,” July 28

President Bush has said that he wants the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah to end as soon as possible but not at the cost of a “fake peace.” I confess that I’m having a hard time understanding this position. After all, isn’t Bush the proud father of two fake democracies, in Afghanistan and Iraq? Isn’t he a stalwart proponent of fake science, fake budgets (with no funds penciled in for the war in Iraq), fake education and healthcare reforms, fake retirement accounts, fake clean environment standards and fake campaigns to rescue America from the insidious threats of euthanasia and gay marriage? How would a “fake peace” between Israel and Hezbollah not fit into his make-believe world?

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EDWARD LOMAX

Rancho Cucamonga


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