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Israeli-Palestinian peace The Monitor's writers do not advise Slobodan Milosevic, or Yugoslavia's government, on how to achieve efficiency of government when their proper desire is to end his government's human rights violations in Kosovo. Why then does Steve Yetiv's opinion article focus on steps Israel should take to make its government more efficient, rather than focusing on steps Israel should take - or, more to the point, steps the US should take to insure a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace ("Israel: It's time to unify," May 12)? It should be the US's goal to end Israel's violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people, especially through Israel's contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Mr. Yetiv's explicit concern that Israel's government avoid "excessive concessions to the Palestinians" rings in my ears like a fear that Mr. Milosevic might give in, excessively, to the Kosovars. Would it be excessive concession if Israel withdrew its settlers from all occupied territories, including occupied Jerusalem, as required by international law? Would it be excessive concession if Israel stopped administrative detention, torture, the closure of towns, the dynamiting and bulldozing of Palestinian houses?

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Would it be excessive concession if Israel agreed to the land-for-peace formula of UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967, relinquishing control of the territories it occupied in 1967 to the Palestinians, who recognized Israel's "right to exist" in 1988, now that Israel is at peace with Egypt and Jordan?

Peter Belmont, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Opportunity in China for public protest I read with interest "Behind Chinese furor: mistrust" (May 12). I feel that one factor behind the vehemence of Chinese protests is, quite simply, that the Chinese people need an outlet, and the government is letting the protests go on because they are serving as a safety valve.

There is a lot of pent-up anger and dissatisfaction among the Chinese people toward their own government, but - as we saw from the Tiananmen Square incident - the government won't tolerate expressions of dissent toward itself. Staging a demonstration in front of the Great Hall of the People could get one imprisoned or perhaps even shot.

Rick Davis, Ashigawa, Japan

Establishing Kosovar-owned property Regarding "Giving refuges and ID to counter Serb 'cleansing' " (May 14): In addition to reconstructing personal identity documents, international organizations should begin now to compile information and reconstruct documents to prove home ownership in Kosovo by Kosovar refugees. Property-related documents may be needed in order to facilitate voluntary repatriation and rehabilitation efforts upon a settlement of the conflict.

Arthur C. Helton, New York Director, Open Society Institute

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Cartoon takes unfair swipe at GOP I was disappointed by the editorial cartoon in the May 13 issue, which implied that Republican think tanks don't think. Such attacks do not address the issues of the day, and are nothing more than ad hominem attacks put into cartoon form.

I doubt any thinking American would honestly say that Republicans in general are incapable of thought. Such belittling and minimizing is a guaranteed way to destroy the credibility of your opponent, and without credibility, the mass of Americans simply won't consider the opponent worthy of attention.

L.J. Buchananm, Ashland, Ore.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to

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