Dear Sirs,
Leila Dabdoub demands of a Jewish writer "a recognition that indeed a wrong has been committed" in 1948 (Palestine-Israel Journal, Vol. ~ No.2, 1997). This is not what I would expect from the managing editor of a magazine dedicated to peace between two peoples. Demanding apologies for past wrongs leads•to friction, not friendship. Is Ms. Dabdoub ready to recognize that it was wrong for her forebears to declare war on their Jewish neighbors on November 30, 1917? Is she ready to apologize for the attempt to kill the Jews of Jerusalem, including my aged parents, by starvation? Does she recognize that there is no duality between the massacre at Deir Yassin, which occurred either during or after a fire fight designed to lift the siege of Jerusalem, and the slaughter of 76 Hadassah and Hebrew University personnel on the road to Mt. Scopus?
Harping on the wrongs of the past only makes it more difficult for Jews and Palestinians to join in the intensive efforts needed to overcome the current obstacles to peace.

J. Zel Lurie
Delfray Beach, Florida

Comparing atrocities, arguing which killing was worse, that of the Palestinian inhabitants of Deir Yassin or that of the Jewish doctors and nurses of Hadassah Hospital, leads nowhere, except to perpetuate mutual misunderstandings and hatred. Horrible things happen in wars. However, Ms. Dabdoub's demand of Israelis to "recognize that indeed a wrong has been committed" in 1948 addresses something quite different. The birth of the State of Israel in 1948, greeted with joy by its Jewish population, was experienced by the Palestinian population as a tragedy, both individually and collectively. The gaining of a homeland by the Jews resulted in Palestinians being deprived of a homeland and becoming a people of refugees. One may argue that it was the Palestinian and Arab leaders' shortsightedness, stubbornness and their "all-or-nothing" attitude that caused the 1948/49 war, but this does not make the Palestinians' plight less real. This historical fact should be recognized by all, especially by Israelis, as, otherwise, it will be difficult to find a common ground.

Victor Cygielman
Co-Editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal

There Is Only One Cyprus
Dear Sirs,
Much to my surprise, I noted in the Palestine-Israel Journal the caption describing the activities of Dr. Hussam Mohamad as being "assistant professor of international relations at the Eastern Mediterranean University in 'North-Cyprus.'''
The Palestine-Israel Journal is said to examine "the crucial issues in the conflict" and as a joint venture of Israelis and Palestinians, you know better than anyone that distortion of information is not only harmful, but also a powerful means to diffuse propaganda and alter public opinion. Whereas the situation of Israel and Palestine cannot be compared to the one of Cyprus, I am appalled to note that a journal lead by Palestinians who know perfectly what occupation, dispossession and deprivation entails can actually publish the caption cited above without having the feeling that this is distortion of information and pro-occupation propaganda.
There is no country named North-Cyprus. There is only one Cyprus, a united Cyprus, which has been occupied since July 1974 when the Turkish military forces landed on the island and occupied the northern third. In 1983, Rauf Denktash proclaimed his community an independent republic called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which has not been recognized by any international body. Since the occupation by Turkey, Greek Cypriots were chased from the northern part of the island and dispossessed. Violation of human rights has become a common practice in the satellite-state of Turkey and the latter continues incessantly to promote the settlement of mainland Turks in the northern part of the island. Don't these practices ring a bell?
The existence of the State of Israel within the pre-1967 borders cannot be disputed; however, referring to the occupied parts of Palestine as Israeli territory is legitimizing the confiscation of territories gained by military force, a pure violation of UN resolutions. The same goes for "North Cyprus" and by referring to the northern part as such, you actually legitimize the Turkish claim for a divided Turkish-Greek Cyprus.
I sincerely hope that the coming editions of the Palestine-Israel Journal will not contain this grave error and that you will require Dr. Mohamad to represent Cyprus as a united republic with two communities.

Mieke van de Capelle

The Palestine-Israel Journal regrets that the inclusion of "North-Cyprus" in the biographical note of Dr. Hussam Mohamad (Vol. IV No. 3/4, p. 66) was misconstrued as though the Journal were taking sides in the Greek-Turkish conflict in Cyprus. However, to denounce it as "pro-occupation propaganda" and "distortion of information" is quite unjustified.
While the Journal is especially sensitive to issues of occupation, dispossession and denial of the right to self-determination, the terminology used by our contributors to identify themselves is formulated by them and not by us. The Palestine-Israel Journal stands corrected: an internationally recognized country called North-Cyprus does not exist.

Shame and Foreboding
Dear Sirs,
There was a time in the State of Israel when Independence Day expressed real happiness and national pride, but this was long before the present flamboyant celebration of the fiftieth anniversary in extravagant and expensive presentations. This year, contrary to the official sloganizing about "together in hope, together in pride," Independence Day was a time of deep division and controversy, not of pride but of shame, not of hope but of foreboding.
We were witness on this national holiday, of all days, to a dangerous act of incitement by Jewish settlers and extreme rightists who laid what they called the cornerstone for a new neighborhood at Har Homa Gabal Abu Ghneim). Whatever they may say, Har Homa is not a part of Jerusalem.
On the same Independence Day we saw how insidious forces succeeded in an act of crude and ugly artistic censorship against the jubilee performance of the Batsheva ballet, one of Israel's outstanding flag-bearers in the world of arts.
It is a cause for special concern that both these grave steps were taken by religious circles which unhesitatingly went ahead in spreading a message against peace and for discord and hatred. Rather than a celebration for the whole people, they presented the world with an image of bitter and violent internal and external struggle.
There must be within the religious camp elements still capable of listening to reason. I call upon rabbis and religious leaders to draw back from such destructive and provocative policies before it is too late.

Dani Ben Shoshan
Bat Yam, Israel