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Friday, June 13, 2003

Kol Hakavod to Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York City


To the Editor [New York Times, June 13]:

"Downward Spiral in the Mideast" (editorial, June 12) equates the Israeli victims and their government with the Palestinian terrorists who deliberately assault and murder civilians. President Bush made the same error this week, criticizing the Israeli government by saying he was deeply troubled by the Israeli efforts to kill Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader.

Dr. Rantisi is responsible for planning the recent attacks that followed the joint announcement of the peace plan and that killed four Israeli soldiers.

Hamas and Dr. Rantisi have denounced the conciliatory words in support of a two-state solution of Mahmoud Abbas, the new Palestinian prime minister.

Why shouldn't Israel hunt Dr. Rantisi down, just as the United States hunts down Osama bin Laden and other terrorists?

Particularly when Mr. Abbas has said he will not use force to suppress the Palestinian terrorists, and Dr. Rantisi regularly exhorts Hamas to carry out attacks against Israel?


EDWARD I. KOCH
New York, June 12, 2003