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Har Homa Building Not Against the Rules

We take exception to the implication in the opinion-page article "The King's Mission of Healing" (March 19) that it is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's responsibility to prevent Palestinian violence by retracting his decision to build new Jewish housing units at Har Homa in Jerusalem.

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Regardless of one's opinion of the decision to build at Har Homa, the building project itself in no way violates existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. As a sovereign nation, Israel has every right to build new neighborhoods in its capital city.

Chairman Arafat must abide by his commitments under the Oslo accords by preventing an outbreak of Palestinian violence. He must demonstrate leadership by conveying to the Palestinians that violence is not a legitimate expression of political discontent, and that disagreements must be worked out civilly and peacefully at the negotiating table, as designated under mutual agreements.

Julia Freedson

Anti-Defamation League

International Affairs Analyst

Self-rule in South Asia

The concerns about peace in South Asia in "Easing India and Pakistan Toward the Table" (March 19) are valid.

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The Pakistan Army, decimated by the Indian Army in Bangladesh in 1971, has lost its morale to fight any conventional war against India. At the same time the Pakistan Army needs a permanent enemy in the region to justify huge defense costs. This rapacious spending deprives more than 50 percent of Pakistani children of their primary education. India, on the other hand, needs a hot war front to maintain a reign of terror on its minorities. Rulers in both countries will always be willing to use nuclear arms for their political interests.

Is there any justified pretext to keep the people of Kashmir subjugated between two nuclear terrorist regimes? Any issue that addresses Kashmir but not the Kashmiris is not an issue at all! The people of Northern Pakistan and India need an integrated confederation, free from Indian and Pakistani dominance. Such a democratic, secular, and progressive confederation is the only vital answer to nuclear threat in South Asia, not the land dispute resolution as your writer suggests.

Jahangir Ahmad Satti


American dream realized elsewhere

I read with great interest "Many Seek American Dream - Outside America" (March 19) on Americans emigrating to other countries.

I, too, am an American citizen who has found a charming and more tranquil life abroad - mine in Bordeaux, France. Thanks to a second European passport and an interested professor, I was able to a secure a position as an English lecteur at the University of Bordeaux and am also studying political science.

Although I work hard, I feel more secure with my job here (contracts are granted by the year), and I am given a large degree of autonomy to conduct my classes as I like. I am somewhat of a novelty: You should see the positive reaction I elicit when I tell French people that I am not English.

People here take more time to enjoy life. I suppose that may have negative economic consequences in terms of lost productivity, but I can't argue with three months paid vacation and two hours for lunch. And contrary to popular American myth, French people love Americans and our culture. Why else would the French government have to pass laws to limit the influx of the culture and language? The French, of course, have many myths about America: Everyone is either very rich or very poor, there is no social safety net whatsoever, and all Americans are loud and fat.

Mark McNaught

Bordeaux, France

Your letters are welcome. Letters for publication must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. All letters are subject to editing. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be mailed to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, faxed to 617-450-2317, or e-mailed (200 words maximum) to

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