Protecting peaceful Palestinian protests

Regarding the March 4 opinion piece "Palestinians who are working toward peace": I agree wholeheartedly with David Nassar's statement that "the international protesters are the key."

Israel's excessive use of force, indiscriminate shelling, and round-the-clock curfews serve only to frustrate and prevent peaceful resistance. Palestinians risk being shot on sight if they are spotted on the street during curfew. It is naive for anyone to think that Palestinians, without the support of international protesters, can safely hold peaceful sit-ins under such conditions.

International aid workers and peace demonstrators are vitally important since their presence helps to reduce the likelihood of Palestinian casualties. Even the presence of internationals, however, is no guarantee of safety for either the Palestinians or the internationals themselves.

Clearly, the internationals who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Palestinians are helping to make a difference. But far more internationals are needed to support peaceful Palestinian resistance.
Karen Russo
Saddle River, N.J.

In an otherwise fine article, David Nassar has unfortunately shown that he has unconsciously absorbed the bias so blatant in most public media.

In his first paragraph he states that one or several Palestinians are likely to be killed by an Israeli soldier and then further on that innocent Israelis may be killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber.

Are there no innocent Palestinians? Why are Israeli victims of Palestinian resistance actions innocent even when they are illegal settlers living on Palestinian land?
Donna M. Joss
Sterling, Mass.

It is interesting that one often hears of international peace activists standing beside Palestinians supposedly to protect them from the Israelis. I wonder why they never go stand in Israeli pizzerias, cinemas, buses, or wedding halls to protect Israelis from Palestinian suicide bombers. Is it because Israel actually cares about not harming innocent bystanders but Palestinian suicide bombers try to kill those innocent bystanders?
David Simantob
Los Angeles, Calif.

Americans as impatient as Veruca Salt

Regarding your March 3 editorial "Get Real with Reality TV": I have a beef with reality shows, but it's not what you think. Like the character Veruca Salt in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," Americans "want it now."

"American Idol" hopefuls want to make it big even though they're only 16 to 24 years old. Contestants on "Survivor" and "Fear Factor" are willing to try almost anything - except gainful employment - to get rich.

Participants on "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" aren't willing to put in the necessary time to find a soul mate. Despite the artificial setup on these shows, contestants believe it's possible to find the love of their lives after a handful of dates.

The women who dated "Joe Millionaire" were looking to kill two birds with one stone. Believing Evan to be rich, they wanted not only to find a boyfriend or husband, but easy wealth as well.

Our grandparents and great-grandparents actually put in the time to get what they wanted. It took them years to earn enough money to afford a house or car, and extras were carefully planned for and budgeted. They didn't expect to be famous or rich, and that was OK with them. They valued an honest day's work and had the joy of setting, striving for, and eventually reaching their goals. Now that's what I call reality.
Carol Ayer
Alameda, Calif.

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