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JUNE 2003
Volume 95, Issue 5

GRAPHIC:  Also in every issueLetters

It might sound ridiculous, but “potty parity” is an issue…

More on Suicide Terrorism
How I should have liked to attend Professor Robert Pape’s workshop last October when he presented his working paper on suicide terrorism’s rise (“Investigations,” December/02).

The article states that “the terrorist groups’ goals were to gain control of their perceived national homeland and to eject foreign military forces from that territory.” I would have asked Professor Pape why Yassir Arafat then rejected Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s offer of 95 percent of the West Bank at the Camp David summit in 2000 without so much as making a counter-offer. In the Al Aksa Intifada that began shortly after the Camp David summit, suicide bombers attacked Jews within the pre-1967 borders of Israel. Could it therefore be that Arafat’s real goal was not control of the entire West Bank but the destruction of Israel and the substitution of a Palestinian state in its place?

The article further states that “military action or concessions alone rarely work.” To the contrary, Israel’s defense forces have successfully reduced the number of major lethal terrorist attacks from 40 during the first quarter of 2002 to just five during the same period in 2003. As for concessions, Israel’s right-wing parties oppose abandoning the Jewish “settlements” on the West Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian state as concessions, i.e., rewards for terrorism. It is the left-wing parties that favor concessions such as abandoning the West Bank and building a wall, whether Professor Pape’s “real wall, 20 feet high and 20 feet thick” or something less.

Living in Israel poses no threat from the Marxist-Leninist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the world leader in suicide terrorism, but Yassir Arafat and his band of suicide terrorists are surely trying their hardest—fortunately, less successfully as of late.

Milton H. Polin, AB’53

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