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Thursday, July 17, 2003

"Why do Palestinians have to wait?"

Letter to the Editor: International Herald Tribune
The question of democracy

Regarding "The demographic clock is ticking for Israel" (Views, July 2) by Uri Dromi:

Uri Dromi wrote that if Israel keeps the West Bank and Gaza under its control, by the year 2015, when there are more Arabs than Jews west of the Jordan, the Jewish state would either lose its Jewish character or cease to be a democratic state.

Israel is not a fully democratic state at present. Why do Palestinians - a group that is denied full citizenship rights - have to wait until they become the majority for recognition that they already live under an apartheid system as a minority.

Suppose the African Americans in the Southern United States in the 1960's had been told that because they were only a minority the South could not be called segregationist.

In the last elections the Labor Party and its candidate Amram Mitzna would have won if the Palestinians in the occupied territories had the right vote. But they were denied the rights that were given to their settler neighbors.

James Adler, Cambridge, Massachusetts