Volume 95, Issue 91

Tuesday, March 26, 2002
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Lackies of the almighty CNN


War and peace

War and peace

Re: "Why do Israelis vote Sharon?," Mar. 19

To the Editor:

El-Hourani implied that Israelis must have the same agenda, having elected such a government.

While no one would dispute that "peace is better than war" and that innocent people are sadly being killed on both sides, this uninformed claim misses two important points.

First, a distinction must be made between types of violent acts and the intentions behind them. Palestinian terrorist groups, such as Hamas, target innocent civilians – women and children – with the intent of killing these people because of their nationality.

The Israeli military, on the other hand, targets those terrorist groups with the intention of protecting the citizens living in Israel from further exposure to terror.

They have not used overbearing force with an objective of slaughtering innocents. These are strategic military acts no different than the United States retaliating against the Al-Qaida in Afghanistan after the terrorist acts of Sept. 11.

Second, peace is only attainable when both sides are willing to take steps towards it. The previous Israeli government offered the Palestinians, among other generous concessions, joint control of the city of Jerusalem.

Unfortunately, this extension of the olive branch was not met with the same good faith, as the Palestinian authorities refused to accept such terms of peace. One of the most obliging peace offerings in Mideast history, which would have served as a foundation to build an agreement upon, was rejected and violence continued to escalate further.

So, before we condemn one side or the other for their violent acts, we must first consider what kind of actions are being undertaken and why.

We must also wonder if all those involved have the same idea of what peace is.

Michael Ellison

Science III

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