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Israel's reaction to Jerusalem killings is measured, Palestinians' is disgraceful

The Sun's editorial, "Tragedy in Jerusalem" (Nov. 20) about the murders of four rabbis and a policeman by Palestinian terrorists starts well: "This was an act of pure nihilism and murderous hatred that deserves the world's unequivocal condemnation and scorn..." But then comes "that said," and with it equivocation.

The editorial claims "powerful forces on both sides [are] bent on escalating the conflict yet again." Actually, only on the Palestinian side.

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Leading members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party have praised the recent terrorist attacks that have killed 12 Israelis, termed Jerusalem and all Israel "ribat," Islamic land to be reconquered, and called for more assaults. To the contrary, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other government leaders have insisted there will be no change to the status quo on Temple Mount that permits Muslim, but not Jewish or Christian prayer, at that holy site.

The editorial states both Islamic extremists who pledged to destroy Israel and Mr. Netanyahu with his promise to resume demolition of terrorists' homes "are seeking at bottom … retribution and revenge, not justice." In fact, Israel is trying to strengthen deterrence against "sudden onset, lone-wolf" terrorism. Israeli security personnel say the threat of demolition, when home destruction was practiced a decade ago, led many fathers to turn in plotting sons.

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"At some point both Palestinians and Israelis have got to muster the courage to say enough to the fanatics in their camps," The Sun opines. In 2000, 2001 and 2008 Palestinian leaders rejected Israeli offers of a West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem state in exchange for peace. Israeli leaders had the courage and ability to make a deal stick. The Palestinian leaders either lacked the courage and ability, or the desire.

Eric Rozenman, Washington

The writer is Washington director of CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

P.O. Box 1763

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