Letter: Israeli bulldozers a world threat

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The Independent Online
Sir: The bulldozers at Har Homa must stop. They were set in motion to serve the short-term domestic interests of Mr Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, but unless reversed, their effects will spread far beyond the Middle East and risk sending dangerous vibrations worldwide.

President Clinton, as leader of the sole superpower, has courageously enlisted, though with varying degrees of success, the potential of the United States in the promotion of peace in the most troubled areas of the world - Ireland, former Yugoslavia, Africa and the Middle East. The Oslo agreement gave reasonable hope that the peace process might lead to understanding and accommodation between the Arab and Jewish peoples in the Middle East.

The bulldozers bid fair to extinguish that hope. They have strengthened the status of the Arab extremists from Algeria to Afghanistan - see Robert Fisk's dispatch from there (22 March) - and the risk is now high that these will direct terrorism, including Islam's suicide bombers, against any American establishment in the Middle East. The consequent loss of American lives can only strengthen the isolationist sentiment that is never far below the surface in the United States.

All of us in America and Europe who have in the past supported Israel's reasonable interests should now send an urgent and unequivocal message that we are not prepared to see Mr Netanyahu play his domestic politics to the detriment of our worldwide interests. The United States should reinforce this message, as only it can, with the termination of American financial support.


Brill, Buckinghamshire