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Another battle

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ON Wednesday of last week an Arab, presumably a Palestinian, drove a white Toyota car alongside an Israeli military convoy and set off a bomb. It left a crater 15 feet wide, killed eight Israeli soldiers, and wounded seven more. Two days later, Israel responded by bombing suspected Palestinian bases near Sidon and the supposed center of strength of the Hizbullah Arab organization in the western part of the Bekaa Valley. Arab casualties were reported as 12 killed and 26 wounded.

The casualties bring to over 300 the number of Arabs killed by Israelis since the Arab rising against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the Golan Heights. It brings the number of Israelis killed in this same continuing battle to 14.

The disparity in numbers of casualties - 300 or more Arabs to 14 Israelis - has not smothered the uprising. It has had an effect on Israeli thinking.

Israel has for the first time begun to recognize that there is a Palestinian community and that it is in a continuing resistance to the Israeli occupation.

Killing one Arab youth per day, on average, over a period of 11 months can go on indefinitely. There are nearly 2 million Arabs in Israel and the occupied territories. Israel cannot stand indefinitely the odium of this process. It is undermining Israel's essential support in the United States.

Some radical Israelis would resolve this dilemma by raising the rate of killing. But that would expose Israel to the charge of committing genocide against the Arabs. Others would resolve it by a mass expulsion of Arabs. That would trigger another war.


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