Little Peace in the Mideast

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"A Moral Outrage" [March 24-31], cogently analyzed and deplored by Mortimer B. Zuckerman, will persist unabated and become more egregious unless there is a major mutation in the mind-set among credulous western nations that continue to harbor the illusion that Hamas and the majority of Palestinians are ready for dialogue and an ultimate peace with Israel.

The disquieting and shocking poll results, which registered that 84 percent of Palestinians approved of the murderous attack on Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, killing eight innocent students and injuring dozens, would seem to indicate a slim-to-none chance of success in finalizing an agreement during President Bush's term. The tragic truth is that Hamas gains public relations when civilian deaths are reported, and it launches rocket barrages from among the civilian population—a violation of statutes of morality and justice in the civilized world.

Fay Dicker

Lakewood, N.J.  

I look to Zuckerman's editorials to influence my judgment on many of the problems confronting our society. I believe that he is far more knowledgeable than I about the circumstances surrounding worldly events and knows the pertinent background. However, Zuckerman may weaken his credibility when events are overly dramatized like when the 24 Israeli deaths are equated to 1,200 American deaths. Horror in the Middle East does not have to be exaggerated to make the point.

Robert L. Muskat

Lake Forest, Ill.  

I,  too, am outraged by the one-sided reports of news from Palestine and Israel. Hamas has been blowing up buses, cars, and restaurants in Israel for years. And the world seems not to care. But let Israel retaliate, and all hell breaks loose. Israel has made efforts at peace, giving up property for the sake of peace. Instead of peace, the gesture of goodwill emboldens Hamas and the Palestinians, who see it as a sign of weakness. I have visited and worked in Israel and Egypt and seen it all firsthand.

Bess Carnahan

Fort Laramie, Wyo.