There are several factual errors in your editorial about Israel's recent upsurge in violence ("Jerusalem's nightmare," Oct. 17).

The editorial states that Israeli settlers often carry out reprisal attacks with impunity. Israel is a country of laws, and every attack by the settlers is investigated and the perpetrators tried in court. Today there are even a handful of Jewish settlers in jail on administrative detention waiting for investigations to be concluded.

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You state that the anger driving the Palestinians to murder Jews stems from Arab frustration over the Israeli "occupation" in the West Bank. But the current violence has nothing to do with the dispute over West Bank lands. This is a religious war in which the Palestinian people have been whipped into a frenzy over false claims that Israel is planning to invade and destroy the al-Aqsa mosque. Palestinians and all the world's Arabs have been called on to kill Jews to protect this Muslim holy site.

The editorial's final distortion was the statement that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has turned Israel "into something that increasingly resembles an apartheid state." Twenty percent of Israel's population is Arab. Arab citizens serve in parliament, in the Supreme Court and in all walks of life. They have all the rights and responsibilities enjoyed by Israel's Jewish citizens.

It is to Israel's credit that it has not taken any political steps against its Arab population. The only steps it has taken have been to beef up its security to defend its citizens — something we take for granted here in the U.S. but which, for some reason, critics would deny to Israelis.

Larry Shapiro, Rancho Mirage, Calif.

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