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Judging Ariel

To the Editor:

In your piece on the Israel-Palestine conflict [“Occupational Hazards,” April 11], I was gratified to see that you did enclose at least a modicum of balance, including some text describing the Israeli perspective. I do not wish to get into restating arguments which are unlikely to persuade people who already have their positions. However, there are a few points in your article which deserve comment.

Your writer, Mr. Parrish, states that “absolutely nothing excuses the . . . attacks upon the civilian population [by the Israelis].” I would like to suggest that this argument could easily be turned around to state that “absolutely nothing excuses the bombing of the civilian population [by the Palestinians].”

I would also like to comment on the uncritically stated assertions that the Israeli troops are committing summary executions. Although there is no doubt that excessive force and abuse is occurring, and that innocent civilians have unfortunately been killed or injured, it is inconceivable to me that these forces are conducting summary executions. I do not claim that the reporters from the Mideast are lying, but that they have been misled. Any person who follows the news cannot avoid the conclusion that the Palestinian authorities will say whatever they feel supports their cause with little regard for the truth (viz. the recent shipment of arms aboard the Kalina A).

If I am mistaken in my belief and subsequent investigations confirm the existence of summary executions, I will be first in line to publicly condemn the perpetrators, and this would cause me to rethink my support of Israel. However, if subsequent investigations determine that these executions did not take place, will Metroland cover that with the same energy and intensity as the current unsubstantiated reports? And please note that the Israeli courts have prevented any premature burial of Palestinians so that these types of investigations may be conducted.

Finally, I would just like to point out that we may often debate who started what outrage, it seems to be often overlooked that there is no clear and compelling evidence that the Palestinians and the Arabs have forsaken their goal of eliminating the state of Israel.

Burton Klinger
North Greenbush

To the Editor:

I read the two points and one counterpoint in the April 18 issue [Letters]. I have two points and one counterpoint of my own.

The telethon held in Saudi Arabia to aid Palestinians kind of amused me. Look at a map, the size of Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia. There’s plenty of room in Saudi Arabia for them to cordon off part of their country as a homeland for the Palestinians, if they care about them so much.

In 1991, 200,000 people were killed in Iraq during the Gulf War. Today, I wish that then it had occurred to me to point out that Iraq should now have room for 200,000 Palestinian refugees.

My counterpoint involves John Walker Lindh. I’ve been wondering if I’m the only person to whom it’s occurred that he’s killed fewer people than has Laura Bush.

Jeff Hinckle
Albany

And on Another Note

To the Editor:

What a refreshing article about Stephen Leon’s family outing to Boston [Comment, April 25]. It’s refreshing to see in this day and age that people can still have fun and enjoy each other’s company. I hope they left their cell phones in the hotel room.

On another note, the article by Erin Sullivan regarding the “Appeal for Justice,” [Newsfront, April 25]: I am still amazed that no one had the balls to know when they were considering hanging the Sol Wachtler portrait along with another justice’s when this man violated every possible ethics rule imaginable. Yet we “honor” this criminal and send laypersons to jail. Something is definitely wrong with our judicial system.

RA DePrima
Albany

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts OK), addressed to the editor. Or you may e-mail them to: metroland@metroland.net. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

Send to:
Letters, Metroland, 4 Central Ave.,
4th Floor, Albany, NY 12210
or e-mail us at metroland@metroland.net.


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