Clinton's Middle East Policy

Regarding the article "Mideast Talks Hinge on Clinton," Nov. 10: I find it distressing that "Clinton's own definition of Palestinian self-determination" does not entail Palestinian statehood. What then does it entail? What does President-elect Clinton think is the appropriate resolution for the question of Palestine? It is unwise for Mr. Clinton to make statements concerning such a delicate and complex matter without being informed of the facts and realities of the situation.

His understanding of the situation does not take into account prevalent, accepted positions and decisions of the international community or statutes of international law. This includes his position on Israeli settlements in the occupied territory, on Arab East Jerusalem, and on the right of Palestinians to self-determination.

The settlements are illegal, according to international law and are major obstacles to peace. The overwhelming majority of the nations of the world, including the nation Clinton will lead, does not recognize Israel's annexation of Arab East Jerusalem, and the right to self-determination is an inalienable right to all human beings.

In this regard, it is imperative that Clinton appoint specialists who understand the history, politics, and culture of the region and its people to advise Clinton and enable him and his administration to deal with the issue in a responsible manner. F. Abdelhadly, Cliffside Pk., N.J. Winter in Bosnia

The continued fractricidal fighting in the former Yugoslavia, the revelations about the death camps, and the coming of winter underscore the need for effective and immediate humanitarian action to relieve the suffering in Bosnia and the region. Because of the sophistication of Serbian forces, military intervention is not easily attainable but should not be ruled out.

In the absence of immediate military intervention, the following interim should be undertaken: Resettlement must be provided for far greater numbers of concentration camp survivors; aid to United Nation's agencies must be increased and speeded; protected shelters must be available for those who will be forced to leave their homes owing to freezing temperatures and conflict; Croatia must be induced to accept additional refugees on a temporary basis.

While these measures are being implemented, we should begin to look at ways in which NATO forces might make the transition from their former role to providing security for safe havens in the former Yugoslavia. Lionel A. Rosenblatt, Washington Exec. Director, Refugees International Feeding the world

Part I of the Special Report "Farming A Shrinking Planet," Oct. 21, is very informative and helps lay out many of the complexities.

In considering the question "Can the Earth Feed Everyone?," it is helpful to remind readers that English economist Thomas Malthus's key insight is a tautology: "If there are no checks on population except starvation and misery, then the population will grow until people are miserable and starve."

The corollary of Kenneth Boulding, author of the "Organizational Revolution," is also a tautology: "Unless technical progress itself leads to conscious checks on births - as it may do - technical progress in the long run merely enables more people to live in misery than before...." S. Hill, E. Hernandez, Las Cruces, N.M.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.