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Burden of Peacemaking on Both Israelis and Arabs

The article ``Israeli Farmers Seek Answers to Water Crisis,'' Dec. 12, quotes Rabbi David Ribner, who says, ``Tradition does tell us that when God is withholding this blessing, it is not a good sign. It means God is unhappy with something. If rain hasn't come, then each individual is expected to look at his or her own deeds and say, `Where haven't I dealt with people in an appropriate manner?''' Israel should deal with the Palestinians in an appropriate manner and allow them their right to a homeland. Then the rain will come. J. Pearson, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

The opinion-page column ``Time to Settle the Arab-Israeli Dispute,'' Dec. 11, puts the burden of peacemaking on the Israelis. The author correctly says, ``Real security lies in neighbors respecting each other's rights.'' Yet he virtually ignores the neighbors Israel has to live with. Syria, for example, has little regard for any of its neighbor's rights, as we have seen in its dealings with Lebanon. It is no wonder that the Israelis annexed the Golan Heights after Syria attacked in 1967.

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The Palestinian problem is not the main stumbling block, as the author would have us believe. Israel's Arab neighbors must accept her existence or it will be only a matter of time before they attempt another annihilation. The Israelis are desperate for peace and the author should recognize this.

B. Shamah, Oakhurst, N.J.

Cartoonist's hypothesis Jeff Danziger's cartoon, ``Truth in Recruiting,'' Dec. 14, depicts a poster of Uncle Sam saying, ``I Want You to Defend Rich Arabs.'' Mr. Danziger neglects to say that for every rich Arab there are thousands of ordinary Kuwaitis who have been robbed by ruthless invaders.

The other poster states, ``Enlist - Keep Gas Cheap.'' This seems like a cheap shot at our young men and women in the Gulf. If oil is a factor in our presence there, it is to prevent an ambitious tyrant from controlling a good portion of the world's energy.

Mortimer A. Marks, Maggie Valley, N.C.

I take exception to Jeff Danziger's cartoon. He seems to think the US and UN forces are in the Middle East only to protect a few rich Arabs and to hold gasoline prices down, but this hypothesis couldn't be further from the truth. The oil cartel is itself guaranteeing uniform oil prices by maintaining an oversupply on the world market. And the Arab nations have private armies of their own which are capable of wreaking havoc upon whomever their leaders decree.

While I don't necessarily espouse George Bush's strategy of military confrontation, I also don't condone letting despots get away with murder. This is the only reason the US and UN are in the Middle East at this time. They are trying to bring about an evolution in world thought whereby every nation should be left free to decide its own destiny.

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W. Tyler Moore, Pensacola, Fla.

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