Regarding Alan Dershowitz's May 8 Opinion piece, "Israel at 60: so vilified, yet so deserving of praise": Mr. Dershowitz is entitled to his opinions about Israel's progress and contributions to world society, some of which I share. However, he should check his facts about the Arab-Israel wars, most of which I covered for the Monitor, especially his statement about Israel's refraining from air attacks on Arab capitals.
In the June war of 1967, an Israeli fighter pilot strafed King Hussein's palace in Amman. The king and his staff were unhurt, as he related to me later. During the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the Israeli air force bombed central Damascus, hitting, among other things, the Soviet embassy, probably aiming at the nearby Defense Ministry. There were civilian casualties.
During the Israeli siege of West Beirut aimed at destroying the Palestine Liberation Organization, I escaped several Israeli air raids on West Beirut and its outskirts. Again, there were civilian casualties from this and from Israeli artillery shelling of the city.
During the "war of attrition" between Egypt and Israel in 1969-70, there were several Israeli airstrikes on Helwan and other near suburbs of Cairo, one of which damaged the American school located in suburban Maadi, but without hurting any of the students.
Regarding Alan Dershowitz's recent Opinion piece on Israel: In his final paragraph, Mr. Dershowitz poses this: "Imagine ... if [Israel] were blessed with peace and were allowed to turn its swords into plowshares!" I submit that Israel would most assuredly be blessed with peace if it did so – rather than resisting, avoiding, and rejecting those whose efforts have been to assist it in finding its way to peace.