Israel's fence won't bring security for Palestinians
Regarding "Fences, patrols, and terrorism" (June 6, Editorial): Your commentary on Israeli and Indian approaches to protecting their borders from terrorism was interesting. But you should have mentioned Israel's intent to illegally annex Palestinian land, build security fences well to the east of the Green Line, commandeer more Palestinian land for buffer zones, and erect "security" fences around Palestinian-controlled areas, thereby caging Palestinians into Israeli-created ghettos.
Instead of pursuing this "security" plan, Israel should withdraw from Palestinian territories it occupied in 1967 and place any additional security within its internationally recognized border. I agree: "Terrorists can be better stopped by dealing with the root discontent of populations that support them." Unfortunately, Israel appears to have no intention of handling underlying causes of terrorism.
Regarding "Surviving a bombing, day by day" (June 6): Your coverage of how an Israeli mother had to change her lifestyle due to suicide bombings was long overdue. It describes who the true victims of terrorism really are, allows the reader to connect with the reality of life in Israel, and brings home what could happen here in the US should terrorism not be stopped worldwide. It is time the US got off its Middle East fence.
Regarding "Palestinians need Hanan Ashrawi" (June 7, Opinion): As a Palestinian, I am delighted by John K. Cooley's proposal that Mrs. Ashrawi play a more important role in the Palestinian national movement. Ashrawi, one of the world's most respected Palestinians, needs to be more assertive than ever in order to compete in an establishment known for corruption and belligerence. Yasser Arafat should resign and allow this far more liberal and progressive individual to have a chance to take the reins of power.
Nizar El Hanna
Although I agree that Hanan Ashrawi seems to be an ideal leadership candidate for the Palestinians, the following question must be asked: What use is reform in the Palestinian Authority while Palestinians remain under foreign military occupation? How can a democracy, even one led by Mrs. Ashrawi, possibly form, and function properly, while a military dictatorship of a foreign power controls so much of Palestinian life? Until the Palestinians have freedom from Israeli occupation forces, it's quite pointless to talk about a Palestinian democracy. It puts the cart before the horse.
Congratulations to John K. Cooley on his proposal that Hanan Ashrawi become the Palestinian prime minister. In my mind, I had already nominated her to replace Yasser Arafat. Mr. Cooley's idea of making her prime minister is far more astute and probable.
Regarding "How to make global trade work for everyone" (June 6, Opinion): Pat M. Holt's column about the difficulties of curbing cheap labor and low environmental factory standards in developing countries by revising the US trade bill was interesting. But I found it a bit short on the "how to." What kind of organization would Mr. Holt suggest? What would be its charter? What possible incentives could there be to get countries to join it instead of fighting one another to offer the cheapest labor and the least prevention of environmental degradation? If a revision of the trade bill won't work, what will?
The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. 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.
Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.