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Join the Discussion: Can Israel's military actions defeat terrorism?   Can suicide bombings achieve the Palestinians' goals?

Dear FRONTLINE,

Let us not forget that Israle is right now a state terrorist that should be condemned and stopped. They are the occupiers and the Palistians the victims. This whole problem would be solved if the Israel government stops the occupation.

What the U.S government is doing in Afghanistan is also terrorism. Like it or not when you KILL THOUSANDS OF CIVILIANS, tha is TERRORISM.

Yohanan Assefa
Los Angeles, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

I find it incredible that so many in our body politic believe the first thing Arafat needs to do to end Israeel's incursion is for him to order his people to renounce violence. Being surrounded by tanks and Israeli troops as he is, he will refuse to do so. This is simply a matter of human nature. When you're down, if you have anything to gain from resiting , you will not cow to pressure simply as matter of honor.

If Israel wants peace, a withdrawal from all ocuppied land will bring it. After all, it is for the strong to make the first move, not the last. Otherwise, there is no end in sight in the humiliation of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis which will continue the murderous vicious cycle they are both engaged in.

Tony Santamaria
Lakewood, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

I think one of the leaders of the Palestinian movement said it best on your program, "We want the land from the River to the Sea." I think a lot of viewers probably missed the reference. The statement means that they want the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. That would mean all the land that is now Israel.

You can not make peace with someone who has this kind of mentality, when the goal is not their own sovereign homeland, but rather the destruction of Israel. America needs to stop placating the Arab world and stick to its mission to fight terrorism in all its forms.

Brooklyn, New York

Dear FRONTLINE,

why is nobody reminding the world that israel itself is a result of terrorist activity? in modern times, israel did not exist until the 1930's, a creation of britain and other western powers.

the u.s. supports israel based upon the assuption that the land belonged to the israelites in biblical times. based on that, we should return the u.s. to the native americans. would the u.s. government support such a move as that?

morris c
la, ca

Dear FRONTLINE,

As usual Frontline has given us something to think about, that is not found on Network TV. We as Americans

really need to think about what this "War on Terrorism" is about. The people around the world are looking at us. They are waiting to see how we handle this situation.

I think that Arafat is right about one thing. We need a International "Peace Keeping Force" in that part of the world. It has gone to far, revenge is in the air. We need the rest of the world to step in and keep the Peace untill cooler heads prevail.

Steve Hutchinson
Fort Collins, Colorado

Dear FRONTLINE,

What alternative to military action is available to Israelis? Much like Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories are a failed state without an authority to maintain order. In that vacuum, suicide bombers and other terrorists are free to pursue their uncompromising and inhumane attacks. Certainly, the Israeli government must act aggressively against terrorists committed to killing its citizens.

What are the Palestinians' goals? Arafat has never articulated national goals that are compatible with the secure existence of Israel. Unfortunately, it would seem that many Palestinians support the objective, articulated by one terrorist in the broadcast, of establishing a state that stretches from the "river to the sea."

Sadly, if Palestinians prefer this vision of Israel's destruction to their own well-being, then suicide bombings might ultimately succeed. But the world should acknowledge that it is the Palestinians who have taken the option of political compromise off the table. Israeli military action is the reasonable response to a threat that no other nation would tolerate.

New York, NY

Dear FRONTLINE,

Apparently Israeli terrorism cannot defeat Palestinian terrorism since the Palestinians have endured it for sixty years.

It is possible that suicide bombings can put an end to Israeli land grabs.

Lacking American tanks, helicopters, Hellfire missiles and computer bombs the Palestinians make do with what they have.

The willingness of these young people to sacrfifice themselves is incomprehensible to their tormentors.

It is a tribute to the human spirit which brings tears to one's eyes.

Thank you for asking my opinion.

James Damon
Austin, Texas

Dear FRONTLINE,

First i would like to say it is a breath of fresh air to watch programming like this. I finally get to view a little bit of the Palestinian side, without biased commentary clouding my vision.

The question is can Israels military actions defeat terrorism? i think to answer that we should first realize that the Palestine/Israeli conflict did not begin with "terrorist acts" last year or the year before. THE "TERROR ATTACKS" ARE A DIRECT RESULT OF ISRAELS ILLEGAL OCCUPATION OF PALESTINIAN LAND. People need to understand that this occupation is against UN resolutions and Israel has been there since 1967.

So Israels military will not be able to stop the terror attacks, because they are the source of terrorism.

albany, ny

Dear FRONTLINE,

The American people are compassionate and I firmly believe that if they were aware of the Palestinian cause and realize what has transpired with them since 1948, and not just continue to receive very biased reporting as they have for the last 5 decades, then they would be far more sympathetic to the Palestinians and recognize that what has brought them to take such drastic measures is born out of humiliation by Israel and frustration with America's unwavering support of Israel.

Had we, as a powerful nation, taken a leadership position to see that both sides were treated fairly from the beginning instead of turning our back on the Palestinians, then I doubt that what is happening today would be occuring.

I do not advocate the killing of innocent people, but if we measure by numbers, the innocent Palestinians killed since 1948 by Israelis far outnumber the amount of Israelis.

I am dismayed and disappointed at President Bush's lack of response to the plight of the Palestinians. I wish that our tax dollars earmarked for Israel could be shared equally with the Palestinians so that they can build their nation and restore dignity to their people. I look on the Palestinians as a people who have been downtrodden and driven to resort to any means to fight back. I see Sharon as a provocateur who would like nothing more than to blow the Palestinians off the earth if he thought he could get away with it.

The only way to make any headway with this tragic situation is to have the key players come to the bargaining table and try to accept the Saudi Plan or something similiar.

McKinney, TX

Dear FRONTLINE,

Well presented.

The only truly effective defense Israel will have against the suicide bombers is to affect swift retribution against the bomber's families and neighbors. This will put the brakes on their barbarism.

Phoenix , Arizona

Dear FRONTLINE,

The situation is not one of equality. As the Hamas fighter comments at the end, the Palestinian position is to "liberate Palestine from the river to the sea" - in other words, undo the creation of the State of Israel and wipe it out. The truth is that the Arab countries, including the Palestinians, have attempted to destroy Israel ever since its creation in 1948, and have turned down every subsequent offer to create an independant Palestinian state ignoring the creation of Jordan, whose population is over 60% Palestinian.

The only country willing to face this truth is currently the United States; the European Union and of course the Arab countries all continue to criticize Israel for defending itself, since by definition defending itself against terrorism involves, once again, using their technological advantage against "poorly armed" Palestinians. This same logic would have condemned the United States for using "smart weapons" against the poorly armed Taliban.

Your documentary should have shown the same courage as President Bush, when he points out that the Palestinian's troubles are largely of their own choosing. The Israelis want both their survival and peace; a large portion of the Arab world defines "peace" as a Middle East without Israel.

Florham Park, New Jersey

Dear FRONTLINE,

What do people expect from people who have had their homes bulldozed so that "settlers" may take the land and build their own home. It is no surprise that they resort to terror. If they had real weapons they would use them in defense of their homes. They use the means that they have, right or wrong, it is all that they have. 225 years ago the continental army, in the worlds view, used unconventional methods to protect their homes. Were they terrorists or patriots. The answer is in the eye of the beholder.There are certainly palestineans who want to push the isrealis into the sea. However, I believe most just want a safe place to live in dignity.

Norton, Ma

Dear FRONTLINE,

Great job! I doubt that anyone could accuse you of partisanship.

Denny Heron
Philadelphia, PA

Dear FRONTLINE,

Frontline continues to be for me at the very top of journalism's best in depth reporting! This current piece is, obviously, of imminent importance. Besides presenting facets that typically are left out of other media covering the region, your honest and clear portrayal showed for me a more real face of the terrorists.

Like most who are following the unfolding events, I understand the views of each side and have listened to the arguments and grievances ad nauseum. Like chronic alcoholics, I suppose rock bottom has to be experienced before change is possible! Is this now scraping the bottom? Thanks for your commitment to finding shards of truth and peeling back places uncommonly reported.

jay weinstein
Miami, FL

Dear FRONTLINE,

A good show. For the first time - the Palestinians had a SOME chance, thought small, to express their views. The show, I hope unintentionally, forgot the fact that Israel is an occupying force according to UN resolutions. It is an occupation at least for the Palestinians. Although being occupied is not a reason to target civilians, it should always be remembered that the Palestinians think they are fighting an occupation. The easiest way out of all this cycle of violence to end is if the Israelis withdrew from Arab lands they occupy.

Once again, a good show that is not produced by a fanatic.

Arlington, VA

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