Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

Would a unified Israeli-Palestinian state work?

Regarding Ghada Karmi's May 30 Opinion piece, "The case for a one- state solution": Ms. Karmi's suggestion is highly untenable. Palestinians and Israelis have deep differences of ethnicity, religious beliefs, religious practices, and all aspects of cultural life. Despite its so-called Jewish identity, Israel is a modern liberal democracy that affords far more freedom and civil rights to its citizens than do the Palestinian territories or any other country in the whole Middle East.

Israel already has to do a tough job of assimilating Arab Israelis into the modern state. If Palestine and Israel are united it will cause an explosion because of conflicting interests and will certainly lead to civil wars. The goal of an independent, free, stable Palestine is much more feasible. Old wisdom says "good fences make good neighbors."

Once Palestinians have their own free state, they can maintain their distinct identity, invest their energies toward developing their own modern nation, and expect foreign investments and trade relations with the rest of the world, including Israel.

Rajiv Thind Christchurch, New Zealand

In response to Ghada Karmi's recent Opinion piece on a "one- state solution": The two-state "solution" has been a cruel one to the people of historic Palestine, and it has been a farce, for it has not been a solution at all. It's been yet another way to oppress, impoverish, and displace the native non-Jewish population of the Holy Land.

Simply respecting basic human rights would go a long way toward creating a just and lasting peace in that very troubled region. And it has to start with the people.

Anne Selden Annab Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Regarding Ghada Karmi's recent Opinion piece: This promotion of an unworkable "one-state solution" or a binational state is simply an indirect attempt to bring about an end to the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

The State of Israel was established to fulfill the nationalist aspirations of the Jewish people in their historic homeland, which Jews have inhabited for centuries. It is unrealistic and unacceptable to expect Israel to voluntarily subvert its own sovereign existence and nationalist identity. Ms. Karmi ignores efforts to resolve the Palestinian refugee issue in the context of a negotiated two-state solution, including Israel's willingness to consider participating in an international effort to resolve the situation.

Abraham H. Foxman New York

National director, Anti-Defamation League End attacks from West Bank

Regarding the May 28 article, "West Bank cell service still on hold": The article ends with, "[telecom chief executive officer Allan] Richardson can't resist pitching his philosophy on the role of telecoms could play in the Mideast: 'You can't shoot a Kalashnikov if you are talking on a mobile. …