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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about Israel-Palestinian relations 60 years after Israeli independence.

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During the Israeli siege of West Beirut aimed at destroying the Palestine Liberation Organization, I escaped several Israeli air raids on West Beirut and its outskirts. Again, there were civilian casualties from this and from Israeli artillery shelling of the city.

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During the "war of attrition" between Egypt and Israel in 1969-70, there were several Israeli airstrikes on Helwan and other near suburbs of Cairo, one of which damaged the American school located in suburban Maadi, but without hurting any of the students.

John K. Cooley

Regarding Alan Dershowitz's recent Opinion piece on Israel: In his final paragraph, Mr. Dershowitz poses this: "Imagine ... if [Israel] were blessed with peace and were allowed to turn its swords into plowshares!" I submit that Israel would most assuredly be blessed with peace if it did so – rather than resisting, avoiding, and rejecting those whose efforts have been to assist it in finding its way to peace.

Anne C. Stephens
New York

In response to Alan Dershowitz's recent Opinion piece on Israel's self-defense: On June 8, 1967, 34 Americans were killed and 174 wounded when Israeli air and naval forces attacked the USS Liberty in international waters. The families of those wounded and killed American servicemen would probably not agree that this attack "exemplified restraint and high ethical standards."

Paula Ogan
La Jolla, Calif.

In response to Alan Dershowitz's recent Opinion piece on the world's view of Israel: The reason, I believe, that Israel has gotten far more attention than another similar country would is its close relationship to the United States. America's role in the world has been to point out other countries' abuses and to try hard to be a good influence against aggressive behavior by our friends. America's seemingly-blind eye to the Greater Israel crowd, who want the land but not the native Arabs, is in direct opposition to the principles America stands for and asserts to the world.

Spencer Zettler
Commack, N.Y.

Regarding Ben White's May 2 Opinion piece, "In praise of Palestinian steadfastness": What a rarity! Discourse in the United States on the Israeli occupation has long seemed little more than monotone regurgitation of right-wing Israeli government talking points. I hope Mr. White's piece heralds a new opening for clearer and less propagandized discussion.

Mike Zara
Santa Monica, Calif.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.