Published Letter

Rami G. Khouri [Other Opinion, Jan 26, "King's Message For The Mideast"] overlooked one lesson that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had delivered on March 25, 1968, less than two weeks before his assassination:

"Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality."

King's abhorrence of violence as a tactic is a lesson apparently lost on Khouri. Were he alive today, King surely would have condemned unequivocally, unlike Khouri, the homicide bombings committed by Palestinian terrorists against innocent civilians, including not only Jews, but Arabs and foreign workers.

In contrast, Khouri desecrated King's legacy by excusing Palestinian terrorism, blaming "state oppression." Khouri neglected to remind readers that Palestinian terrorism predated the 1967 war, and that the worst oppressors of the Palestinians are Yasser Arafat and his corrupt and anti-democratic Palestinian Authority.

Had the Palestinian leaders absorbed all of King's lessons, there would be today an independent and democratic Palestinian state, deriving the economic benefits of peaceful co-existence with Israel.

Jay S. Lapidus, West Hartford

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