August 16, 2001
Peace Process Failure
I long for the day when the editor of any mainstream Palestinian or Islamic publication feels both the need and the license to chastise his readership as Rob Eshman did ("The Other Sides," Aug. 3) by asserting, "It's time for Jewish leaders and organizations to stop oversimplifying the complex equation that must eventually work itself out in the Middle East." If and when such voices are heard, I am confident that Jewish "communal over-reaction" to mere newspaper articles will cease.
Jon Drucker, Los Angeles
Kudos to Rob Eshman for being level-headed and realizing that a blanket rejection to the more detailed descriptions of the Camp David summit is neither intellectually honest nor in Israel's best interest.
The newly released information does not represent a whitewash of Yasser Arafat's performance at Camp David. It does not represent a new analysis of Ehud Barak's operating style. It does not represent an excuse for the outbreak of violence. To follow the line that the Palestinians are completely to blame is as wrong and dangerous as claiming that Israel is the only culprit.
Elaine Hoffman, Board Member, Americans for Peace Now
It's easy to fall into the trap of blaming ourselves and blaming Israel for the continuation of the violence. It's easy to see the conflict through the myopic analysis of who has more weapons. The reality of the situation is much more complicated than this, and reveals a very different reality.
Instead of twisting the situation of the bypass roads around on Israel, ask why the IDF would need to maintain such roads. Without them, attacks could continue on cars of innocent families by terrorists which operate either unchecked or under the auspices of the Palestinian authority. These attacks occur now, staged in the territory where the Palestinian Authority has complete control.
To think this was the crux of the reasoning behind Arafat's rejection is absurd. If this was the issue holding Arafat back, he would have at least made a counter-offer. Instead, he chose to begin a long series of attacks against Israel in hope of achieving through violence what he felt he could not diplomatically -- the destruction of Israel.
Oren Lazar, North Hollywood
As the tongue-in-cheek title of Shelly Teitelbuam's article implies ("L.A.'s Hidden Battalions," Aug. 10), Israelis are very well-hidden -- to the point of being practically nonexistent. The 1997 Los Angeles Jewish population survey found 14,000 Jews whose country of birth was Israel -- and an additional 12,000 Jewish persons who considered themselves Israelis but were not born in Israel -- residing in Los Angeles. This falls about 124,000 short of the Israeli consulate's estimate of 150,000 Israelis in Los Angeles.
Pini Herman, Phillips and Herman Demographic Research
Marlene Adler Marks
Marlene Adler Marks is a survivor, not a victim, and a wonderful example to us all ("Survivor," Aug. 3).
It's true that once you are past the idea that God is manipulating or causing your cancer, you are finally free to defend yourself. It sounds like Marks has arrived at that point, which is wonderful.
Marks' message is vital for everyone out there who is fighting a battle to survive -- whether it's cancer, loss of a loved one, unexpected unemployment, etc.
I cherish and appreciate her openness and honesty. I'm glad she has the enthusiasm to beat the odds.
Patricia Nolan Stein, Burbank
I am deeply touched and filled with great admiration for Marlene Adler Marks' courage in the face of battling a devastating disease.
Marks has written volumes of very important information, sharing with us her fears and her resolve. Keep on writing.
Margaret Novak, Beverly Hills