Letters to the Editor

With reference to Army Archerd’s interview with Oliver Stone in Daily Variety on Thursday, Mr. Stone’s suggestion that Israel’s settlers are “vigilantes” and should just get out of the West Bank is biased and uninformed. Surely Mr. Stone knows that Israel took the West Bank when it was attacked in 1967 by the major Arab powers. The Israelis did not simply seize the West Bank; they captured it in a war in which they were attacked.

There are any number of instances of land captured in wars that has not been returned, e.g., England has never returned Gibraltar to Spain, nor has the United States returned parts of California to Mexico. Nevertheless, Israel offered to give the West Bank to the Palestinians in return for peace. Under the present circumstances that appears inconceivable. If Mr. Stone and I were in a land dispute, I would not be justified in murdering him or his friends and relations.

Mr. Stone says a third power, namely the United Nations, is needed to patrol the area. To whom does he suppose that burden would fall? The United Nations has shown itself to be no friend of Israel. It consistently equates terrorism and the killing of innocent civilians to a country’s right to defend itself and retaliate for such acts. The burden would fall primarily to United States troops. I’ve heard estimates of anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 young American men and women and a cost of unknown billions of dollars. Will Mr. Stone volunteer his son or daughter to become part of this force?

On a related issue, Ted Turner’s similar comments are dangerous because of his position. To say that the Palestinians attack with suicide bombs because “that’s all they have” is remarkable. If someone willfully drives his car into an innocent pedestrian he doesn’t even know because that’s the only weapon he has, it’s hardly a justification for murder.

Suicide bombs are not all the Palestinians have. They have most of world opinion on their side and they have continued U.S. support for their goal of statehood. But how can the Israelis accept the Palestinian statehood in view of what’s going on? There must first be an end to the suicide bombings and then peace negotiations.

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