Congratulations to Charles Krauthammer [op-ed, June 18] for recognizing the importance of Israel's efforts to end the intifada.

I appreciated the insight that as tragic as the intifada has been to Israel, the real victims are the Palestinians. Imagine if they had made peace with Israel instead of following Yasser Arafat into devastation. They would have had a chance to focus on building their society -- as Israel has largely done -- instead of letting their economy be devastated and sending their children to die as suicide bombers.

If the West cares about the Palestinians, it will encourage them to make a realistic peace with Israel and help them rid themselves of Mr. Arafat.


Silver Spring


From Charles Krauthammer's description, it is clear that "Israel's Intifada Victory" is a hollow one.

A war against terrorism is not just a military war. Perhaps the most important aim must be to win the hearts and minds of the enemy. Terrorist organizations need new recruits to operate. But Israel's security policies work against that end by radicalizing the Palestinian population.

Military operations can guarantee long-term security only within the framework of engagement and negotiation. The Palestinian political leadership is rightfully dismissed for not negotiating in good faith. Israel must cultivate and search for leaders it can work with.

Yes, Israel has won this battle, but it will not win the war for its security with its current approach.