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Balanced Coverage of Israel Is Essential

The Opinion page article "Nonproliferation's Balance Sheet," July 26, is flawed by two strange omissions. First, with regard to the Middle East, there is no mention of Israel, which has adamantly refused to have anything to do with nonproliferation. Later, when listing the nuclear powers, the author ignores Israel again.

Unfortunately, this typifies American attitudes toward the Middle East. While we assiduously try to force Saddam Hussein to obey United Nations resolutions, we meekly accept Israel's violations over several decades. This can only be regarded as hypocrisy by the peoples of the area, confirming their worst fears about the prospects for peace.

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Having recently returned from a visit to Israel and the West Bank, I have seen Israel's systematic disregard for human rights, which is subsidized by American taxpayers. It is based on the vain hope that an oppressed nation will eventually depart and leave its homeland to usurpers.

Now, while the world is again shocked by Israeli attacks against Lebanon, our government blithely blames Hizbullah. This ignores the fact that Hizbullah was formed in response to Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Its existence gives Israel an excuse to prolong that invasion indefinitely, using Lebanese territory as a "security zone." Clearly the extremists on both sides have more in common with each other than with the multitudes of Jews and Arabs who are longing for peace. Peter Yff, Muncie, Ind.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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