LETTER : Assault on Lebanon: this is no way to end the cycle of `terror ism'

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The Independent Online
Sir: In 1978, after the first Israeli invasion of Lebanon - to "root out and destroy" Palestinian "terrorists" - I saw, as co-ordinator for International Aid in Lebanon, the Hizbollah take root in the rubble of the destroyed villages of south Lebanon and in the slums they fled to. The indiscriminate violence of the Israeli invasion of 1982 dug even deeper roots for freedom fighters and fundamentalists.

The Palestinian "terrorist" movements had, of course, themselves taken root in the rubble of homes in Palestine and the refugee camps of Jordan, Lebanon and Gaza, to which they had been forced to flee (funded by the USSR, Libya, Iraq and others).

The Zionist "terrorist" movements, Irgun and Haganah, took root in the pogroms and ghettos of Europe and years of oppression and persecution.

How is it then that in the name of lasting peace Mr Portillo, Mr Peres, Mr Clinton or anyone else can still believe in the effectiveness of crushing terrorism by terrorising whole populations. Even if Hizbollah is "crushed" and the Iranian and Syrian sponsors brought to heel, what new "terrorist" movement is now taking root in the massacre of innocents, the destroyed homes, the overcrowded buildings to which new refugees have fled in the past five days? History will always provide sponsors.

Alexandra Asseily

London W14

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