Another look at Arafat

Contrary to the front page article on Yasser Arafat, ``From World Pariah to Statesman,'' Sept. 20, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chief has not been ``long dismissed as an international outcast.'' In 1988, for example, when the United States government would not allow him into the US to address the United Nations, the General Assembly voted 154-2 (the two being the US and Israel) to move the world body to Geneva to hear Mr. Arafat.

Of even greater consequence, you report that ``after four decades of struggle'' Arafat ``has abandoned his attempt to reclaim all of Palestine.'' In fact, as your piece later implies, this has long been the case. Since the mid-1970s, the PLO has backed UN calls for a two-state solution, with a Palestinian state composed of the West Bank and Gaza side by side with Israel. The recent change in Arafat's position is not in advocating coexistence with Israel, but in putting aside a guarantee of a Palestinian state as a condition of mutual recognition. Sam Husseini, New York Associate, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

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