FOLLOWING are excerpts of editorial opinion about...


FOLLOWING are excerpts of editorial opinion about the Mideast peace agreement signed at the White House last week:

From the Jerusalem Post: "Nothing is more cruel and unwise than to treat the 120,000 [Jewish] settlers in the administered territories as if they are enemies. . . .

"[Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin's promise not to uproot them will seem hollow indeed once the PLO takes over the administered territories. Even if the army succeeds in protecting them against terrorists, no Jews will want to live at the mercy of a dictatorial PLO regime which will have control of land, water and services. . . .

"Only the mindless and irresponsible among supporters of the PLO agreement can believe that utopia is upon us. The more realistic understand that this is only the beginning of a long road, which may prove treacherous and life-threatening. . . ."

The Gulf News of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, cautioned against violence: "Where there are things in the accord about which individual Palestinians feel strongly, they have a right to their opinions as forcefully as they wish. Nevertheless, however difficult the differences, however suspicious individuals and groups may be about motives or perceived obstacles to further progress toward full restoration of justice for the Palestinians, the differences can and must be resolved by discussion.

"Killing Arafat and others will not change the agreement. It can only create difficulties for the Palestinians in the eyes of the rest of the world community of which they are now recognized members. Since the PLO is their legitimate representative, it is to be hoped that it is within the PLO that differences will be solved, peacefully rather than by the sword.

"Having set the stage for the settlement of conflict in their own country, the Palestinians can now set the stage for the Middle East as a whole to resolve differences through democratic means."

Meanwhile, in Rome, L'Unita saw in the agreement a sign of hope: "Compared to what is happening in the rest of the world and in the former Yugoslavia, the PLO-Israeli accord is like a sudden enlightenment, a ray of light which reveals the possibility of coexistence between two nations, two religions, two civilizations.

"If peace is possible in the heated powder keg of the Middle East, it will also be possible to re-establish what used to be called 'peaceful coexistence' in other regions of the world. We cannot be fierce any more -- it leads to suicide, to endless extermination. . . .

"The newly signed accord was possible, and the hope for the future which it brings is plausible, because the political leaders who stipulated it did not allow themselves to get caught in lowly concerns. Instead, they rose to the heights of statesmanship. And a decisive contribution was given by the persistent, patient, untiring and almost relentless diplomacy of the United States."

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