Palestinian Obstacles to Autonomy

The opinion-page article "Palestine 'Autonomy' Is a Mirage," Nov. 13, states that "the list of issues made to order for deadlock goes on and on." Perhaps true, yet the writer sees fit to list only possible Israeli "roadblocks" to achieving Palestinian autonomy. A more realistic look at potential impediments would include Palestinian and Arab radicalism.For instance, autonomy could be threatened by continued PLO intransigence toward Israel. Based on its popularity among Palestinians, the PLO is expected to play a prominent role in any independent Palestinian entity that is formed. Yet the PLO has continued to carry out violent activity against military and civilian Israeli targets. The PLO's founding charter, calling for Israel's destruction, remains intact today. Autonomy could also be threatened by Palestinian violence against fellow Palestinians. In September alone, an average of one Palestinian a day was killed by other Palestinians; none by Israelis. A further threat could come from pressure put on a Palestinian entity by Arab countries such as Syria, which continue to train and grant haven to numerous terrorists groups. With the support of the Israeli government, autonomy for the Palestinians is looking more and more realistic. But if it fails and becomes only a "mirage," laying the blame solely on Israel would be an even greater figment of the imagination. Cheryl Cutler, Boston Associate Director, Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith

Czech development options Regarding the editorial "The Separatists' Sad Scenario," Nov. 6: The tension in the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic points to the need for mediating structures that will encourage local democracy and the market economy. The mayor of Kosice, the capital of Eastern Slovakia, is in the process of creating such a structure. Through the creation and support of cooperatives, community development corporations, and local enterprise centers, this new organization will ensure that the people of Kosice and Eastern Slovakia are participants in their own development. It is to be hoped they will not suffer the fate of others in a divided world. Jim Lotz, Halifax, N.S. Canada

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