104 Tax dollars for peace only

Two contrasting views of supporters of Israel in these pages within a few days bear reflection. Arthur Canal (June 30 Letter [102]) considers the aid U.S. taxpayers have given Israel (almost $60 billion since 1948) a "cost-effective investment" and "our biggest bargain." He also lauds the "value of the military intelligence which is shared with the United States."

How then, upon reflection, does one explain Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard? A gift form "our most reliable ally?" How does one justify the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty (June 1967) that left 34 Americans dead and 171 wounded? How does one explain Israeli agent Victor Ostrovsky's revelation that 241 U.S. Marines might not have been killed had Israeli military intelligence been "shared" with the United States? In sum, Mr. Canal, in what way is U.S. aid "our biggest bargain"?

In contrast, Roni Ben Efrat (July 4) challenges the U.S. taxpayer: "Your government is subsidizing the suffering" of the Palestinians. She, too, loves Israel, but hers is a refreshing voice of conscience shared by many Israelis. They cannot ignore the cruel oppression of a stateless and powerless people --an oppression that would not be possible without U.S. taxpayer support.

Of the two views, I would suggest that the second takes the moral high road. It is in our national interest that in the Middle East our tax dollars work for peace, justice, human rights --and nothing else.

Richard Cross, Tarrytown

July 15, 1993