Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Does transfer equal ethnic cleansing?

Regarding Helena Cobban's Oct. 10 Opinion column: "Stop ethnic cleansing in the Mideast before it starts": Her commentary should wake people up to the fact that Americans have a great responsibility to take a stronger position in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

When Israel became a state, Americans did not know much about the Middle East. Today, Americans have no excuse to remain uninformed and unconcerned about the situation there. We watch the heavy- handedness of Israel's army on the news daily. Surely by now we realize that the Israeli government's intentions for the Palestinians are not peaceful.

Isn't it time that, instead of bombing Iraq, we put all our efforts into the peace process in the Holy Land, to the point that we demand Israel comply with all UN resolutions, withdraw to pre- 1967 borders, and remove all settlements from occupied Palestine? Our blind support for Israel has caused us more harm than good. Elaine Washburn Van Lear, Ky.

In response to "Stop ethnic cleansing in the Mideast before it starts": The use of the term ethnic cleansing in relation to Israel and the Palestinians is highly inciting and downright wrong. Under Israeli rule the Palestinian population has grown, life expectancy has risen, and infant mortality has gone down.

President Clinton tried to find a resolution to the Palestinian problem. His proposals were rejected by President Yasser Arafat, who launched a war of terror in response. This forced Israel to return to areas from which it had already withdrawn.

If the Palestinians had wanted an independent state next to Israel, they could have had it under the Clinton-Barak plan. Naomi Leitner Kfar Saba, Israel

Regarding "Stop ethnic cleansing in the Mideast before it starts": Population transfer involves physically moving a group of people. Ethnic cleansing is murder, pure and simple.

Population transfer is done only as a last resort, in order to prevent a worse situation such as war or, conversely, a genocide. …

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