3. Israel-backers don't offer answers

Never mind Mr. Berman's flawed reasoning (June 28 letter), since the natives of the West Bank didn't have a state of their own nor did they attack Israel (like the South African natives who didn't attack the Boers or the Baltic states which didn't attack Russia) in the 1967 war --a war between the states of the region.

In his column of June 18, Mr. Wickham was not, anyway, comparing the causes of the occupation but the occupation itself: a country occupying a land to which it does not belong and an indigenous population resisting a foreign colonizer.

But what I find most amazing in Mr. Berman's letter is when he says "Israel's 'claim' to the occupied territories is simply that five wealthy, well-armed Arab nations conspired to attack her without provocation," while the historic truth is that Israel attacked first (concedingly after being provoked). The "claim" is hereby nullified or, to say the least, questionable.

And what about the idea that Israel was in possession of the West Bank and Gaza "when the smoke cleared"? Is this an invitation to apply the rule of the jungle instead of international law? After all, "when the smoke cleared" Nazi Germany also had possession of almost all Europe.

To Jon Faust (July 1 letter) who is accusing Mr. Wickham of being selective in his analysis, none of the 10 Commandments "gave the United States exclusive right to develop and annex land won in war" at the expense of the native Indians, but a wrongful act committed then does not justify a wrongful act being committed today.

As for Mr. Leibowitz (July 1 letter) who is against the establishment of a Palestinian state sadly enough, he didn't propose any solution for the 1.8 million Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Should they be thrown into the sea, exterminated, expelled from their homeland or kept indefinitely under Israeli occupation? Can't the apologists of Israel who keep complaining that Israel is held to an "artificially higher standard of conduct" offer an alternative to the above solutions?

July 13, 1990