The Oct. 21 For the Record quoted Prof. Hisham Sharabi of Georgetown University, writing in Middle East International of London, as suggesting that Palestinian terrorists had killed "tens of thousands" of Palestinians. Middle East International now says that it erred and that the reference should have been to the murder of "tens" of Palestinians. (Published 11/19/87)

From an article by Prof. Hisham Sharabi of Georgetown University in Middle East International (London, Oct. 10):

Who is responsible for the murder of Naji al-Ali {a Palestinian cartoonist fatally shot in London on July 23}? Who is responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of Palestinians -- we all know who they are -- who paid for their freedom of conscience with their lives?

Responsibility does not fall only on those who pulled the trigger; it falls on all of us Palestinian activists -- leaders in the various organizations, independents, intellectuals, participants in official and unofficial activities -- who allowed terrorism to preside, incognito, over our meetings and gatherings and to let it determine for us what is permitted and what is forbidden, what is right and what is wrong.

It was our silence and our fear that made us accept without protest the curtailment of free discussion and to allow terrorism to determine the way our differences are settled. History has shown that when liberation movements stifle liberty they become incapable of carrying out the task of liberation; they close in upon themselves and blindly submit to violence. There is in the murder of Naji al-Ali a lesson, which if we fail to understand we will lose the ability to liberate ourselves and to determine our destiny. . . .

. . . Without free and uninhibited debate, the achievement potential the Palestinians have in all fields will continue to be repressed or wasted, and with it their ability to confront and solve their problems. If the catastrophe toward which the Palestinians now seem to be heading is allowed to occur, they will have no one to blame but themselves.