Israelis and Palestinians Must Compromise

To the editors:


I logged on to to read about The Game and found something even more disturbing--Yasmin Bin-Humam's naive anti-Israel polemic (Editorial, Nov. 17). In all fairness, it sounded like the kind of naive pro-Israel polemic I might have written when I was a sophomore at Harvard.

First, her charge that Israeli soldiers are deliberately shooting children is inflammatory, irresponsible and also a current staple of Palestinian propaganda. She should never have made it without much stronger evidence.

In the larger sense, she fails to admit that both sides are to blame for the situation and both sides need to make concrete steps to bring about a lasting peace.

Most immediately, all rhetoric aside, and fair or not, the reality is that the current violence won't stop until the Palestinian Authority acts to keep mobs and gunmen away from checkpoints. This is because the Israeli Defense Force will always vigorously defend checkpoints, working under the assumption that if it doesn't, the mobs will pour through and attack the Israeli civilans who often live right beyond. At the same time, Israel should refrain from rocket attacks against targets inside the West Bank and Gaza. Justified or not, they only worsen the situation.

Once the current violence dies down, Israel must act decisively to remove most or all settlements from Palestinian occupied lands. At the same time, the Palestinians must accept Prime Minister Ehud Barak's offer of a shared East Jerusalem--since neither side will ever trust the other to protect its holy places, sharing is the only solution. I fear both of these issues are incredibly touchy and will probably take years to resolve.

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