To: Editor, Naperville Sun;
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002

The letter commenting on the "End the Occupation" group as an obstacle to peace between Palestine and Israel is a useful start to a dialogue.

Rabbi Sultar is correct, the complexity of the crisis does defy simple explanation or solution.  A solution for peace is not in the hands of just one side.  There are Palestinians who do seek the complete destruction of Israel, while at the same time there are Israelis who have a long term goal of incorporating the West Bank of Palestine into Israel and "encouraging" Arabs to leave.  Fortunately, those people are a minority on both sides, but they have been allowed to set the agenda.  When one side "stands down" the other side seems compelled to do things to stoke the fires of violence.

What is disturbing about Rabbi Sultar's letter is the subtle implication of the last paragraph -- peace will not be achieved by terror (i.e. let's clamp down on the Palestinians), and peace will not be achieved by simply blaming Israel (i.e. let's not talk about the Israeli violence).  We have experience with ending Palestinian terror and ignoring Israeli violence.  When the first intifada ended in 1993 with the Oslo Peace Accords, rather than withdraw from the occupied territories in stages as the Accords called for, Israel continued to colonize with their citizens the occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem (all the while denying building permits to Palestinians), and of course the "settlers" and Israeli army continued to terrorize Palestinians by shooting at their homes and uprooting their olive trees.

The wonderful thing about a democracy is that we find things get better when we shine a bright light on the situation.  A measure of our courage is our willingness to expose our own, as well as other's problems.  For one reason or another, in the U.S., the light seems to shine principally on Palestinian violence.  To continue to shine this light only on one side as Rabbi Sultar suggests, plays into the hands of the Israeli extremists, allowing them to continue to set the Israeli agenda.

Eugene G. Wollaston      
Naperville, IL