Letter: Muslims and the bombs: Islamic teaching; peace process; Israeli actions; Iranian resistance

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The Independent Online
Sir: Were one to follow Conor Cruise O'Brien's advice on terrorism ('Appeasement is the real terror', 29 July), hopes for peace in the Middle East would disintegrate overnight and the significant progress over the last year would be ruined. It is absurd to suggest that there is a policy of appeasing terrorists when political negotiators in the Middle East are engaged in a peace process which these extremists are attempting to derail. Mr O'Brien, in fact, is reiterating precisely what these extremists would like to hear.

Bombs in London and Argentina do not mean the peace process is not working. On the contrary, they have occurred on the heels of an historic signing between Jordan and Israel in Washington, and the dawn of semi-autonomy for Palestinians in Gaza and Jericho. Why should Arafat be held responsible for violence that he has been actively working to end? There is also no proof of any Palestinian involvement in the recent atrocities.

Mr O'Brien seems to hold Arafat to account for any violent attack by a Middle Eastern group, but one must not forget that the Israeli Government cannot control Jewish terrorism such as that perpetrated at the Hebron mosque in February. The leaders involved have made brave and courageous decisions to try to solve one of the defining conflicts of the century and should be praised for their courage rather than wrongly derided for 'conceding' to terrorism.

This article encourages a diehard attempt to keep the status quo rather than progress towards an era of peace and stability.

Yours sincerely,


Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding

London, SW5

29 July