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Fanatics at root of problem

This letter is in response to the Sept. 28 Forum letter written by Michael Frank Bednarz in which he presents a tirade against my views expressed in my letter published Sept. 20.

He poses questions and makes statements to which I will respond.The first is about Israel failing to see "the light," followed by asking me to judge which of two actions by fanatical Palestinians and Israelis is the most fanatical. No good can come from such a foolish discussion when it is so highly important to clearly understand the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict so that something can be done to remove it.

Stripped of all ancillary causes, it is that extreme fanatics on both sides want ownership of all of Palestine for their own people. This is an impossible goal, which any reasonable person will realize when all of the present conditions are fully considered. However, the fanatical extremists believe that it is possible and are willing to resort to extreme violence to attain it. Therein lies the "root" cause of the conflict.

The "light" I referred to is that extreme violence will never attain it. Both Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat acknowledged this when they signed a peace accord on the White House lawn Sept. 13, 1993.

At last President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright are starting to recognize this. Hopefully, they will use their good offices to make the United States an honest broker by treating both sides even-handedly. This is the best and only way to become helpfully effective in bringing peace to the Middle East.

Arthur B. Erekson