Sir: A few days ago, both the Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and the US Secretary of State, Warren Christopher (who happened to be in Jerusalem at the time), stated that they would hold the PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat, personally responsible for the safety of the Israeli/US citizen Corporal Nachshon Waxman, held hostage by Hamas. The peace discussions were then put on hold, thereby playing into the hands of Hamas. The PLO protested, maintaining that the kidnapped soldier might not be on its territory.
Since the tragic outcome, there has been a grudging acknowledgement from Mr Rabin that he was wrong in holding Mr Arafat responsible. There has been no apology at all from the Americans, who acted with gross irresponsibility in the first place by chiming in with the Israelis, thereby threatening the whole peace process.
Yours sincerely, VAUGHAN GRYLLS Willey, Shropshire 17 October