Palestinians as 'nonpersons'

In the opinion-page column "Israel and the US: A Crisis of Confidence," Sept. 13, the author demonstrates an arrogance which typifies the Shamir government's attitude on peacemaking. He chides the Bush administration for requesting a delay on Israel's request for US guarantees of $10 billion in commercial loans to ingather and settle Russian Jews. But not once does the author refer to the Palestinians, directly or indirectly, not even as a party to negotiations. He seems to view them as nonpersons.This viewpoint of Israel and its supporters has been successfully planted in the minds of Americans and has warped clear thinking. If the Palestinians can be made to appear as nonpersons, how can negotiations be made concerning their future? Indeed, why bother to negotiate? The author does clearly state the central issue: ingathering of Jews into their ancient homeland. But he ignores the fact that ingathering has another side - the dispossession of the Palestinian people long resident in that land. But if one sees them as nonpersons, dispossession is irrelevant, as only the Russian Jews are deemed to be imperiled. George V. Parmelee, Willoughby, Ohio

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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