Season of Revenge
"How can Arafat and Sharon possibly settle anything when their hatred of each other goes back so very many years?"' DIANE BONNETT Calgary, Alta.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has reached a sorry impasse [WORLD, April 8]. The cycle of violence keeps repeating itself because neither the disputants nor the U.S. mediators have the courage or vision to come up with a just and feasible solution. What's needed is a leader of the caliber and courage of a De Gaulle or a Clement Atlee (the post-World War II Prime Minister of Britain). The sooner such a leader emerges, the better for everyone in the Holy Land. ERICH H. PARBHOO Baton Rouge, La.
No country but the U.S. can stop this madness. And no country has a greater interest in doing so. Perhaps it is time for the Bush Administration to take a more balanced and realistic view. It is certainly time to make a forceful effort to ensure that these two peoples live side by side peacefully, in secure countries of their own. At the same time, our long-term security dictates that the U.S. start lessening our dependence on the resources of that volatile part of the world. PETER L. SLOTTA Chapel Hill, N.C.
Why do the world and many Americans think it is the responsibility of the U.S. to bring peace to the Middle East? The U.S. has its own problems to worry about. Frankly, I'm rather tired of people demanding that President Bush be at the negotiating table with the Palestinians and the Israelis. Why? This matter is between them, and nothing we can say will make the two groups stop hating each other. It is not our responsibility to baby-sit the rest of the world. MARC W. MCFEE Glen Burnie, Md.
If Sharon and Arafat are really interested in ending the conflict, they don't need the help of Bush, special envoy Anthony Zinni, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, Colin Powell or anyone else. Hey, Ariel and Yasser, pick up the phone! DENIS MORRISSEY Menlo Park, Calif.
Both the Palestinians and the Israelis are pigheaded and blinded by their faith. There should be no Israel and no Palestinian state. Instead there should be a nation based on objective, rational law, not emotional, subjective religion, one in which the cultures and religions can coexist and thrive. The U.S.'s Founding Fathers took great care not to establish a nation in which religion and ethnic culture could be the false justification for base behavior and violence. FRANK LAGACE Taunton, Mass.
--Our stark cover photo of Yasser Arafat drew a number of surprisingly dissimilar reactions from readers. "I took offense at the picture showing Arafat as defenseless and pitiful," grumbled a Los Angeles man. "It's very misleading to portray him as if he doesn't know how he got into this mess." But an Oklahoman saw something different: "That is the most perfect picture of a trapped rat I've ever seen--bug-eyed, helpless and hopeless." A woman from Florida saw a regretful expression and mused, "If only Arafat acted as contrite as he looks." And a Vancouver, B.C., man derided "the reverential cover portrait" as "missing only a halo to present Arafat as a distinguished statesman."
We mistakenly said Palestinian suicide bomber Ayat Akhras was 16 years old [WORLD, April 8]. She was 18.