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To the editor:

Your editorial page of March 7 a year ago carried a splendid editorial under the title of: "Time to take new chances on Israel-Palestinian issue." It was concluded with a very bold statement and challenge:"Peace can only come when Israel hard-liners and PLO fanatics quit trying to kill each other and look instead for answers that will put to rest the deepest fears of both sides. That should not be an impossibility - as the Israel-Egypt experience shows. The United States should seize the present opportunity for change and push hard."

At the time I read this back in March, I was greatly impressed with the expression, "push hard," and even more impressed with it as I followed the reports of the untiring efforts that President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker were making to bring the antagonists together for the Peace Conference they proposed. They were finally rewarded with a beginning held in Madrid, Spain, on Oct. 31.

Although the results were minimal, it is to their great credit that they have not given up in their efforts to keep the processes moving in spite of delaying tactics employed by the "hard-liners and the fanatics" to stop them.

If we have any spark of humanitarianism in us, we will support them in every way we can, because thousands of Palestinians are living out their lives in squalid refugee amps who need and deserve a homeland far more than the educated Russian Jews who are being enticed into Israel for economic and political purposes.

Arthur B. Erekson