Thanks for publishing "Disengagement From Justice" by Laila El-Haddad [op-ed, July 28]. Firsthand accounts of the humiliation and oppression that Palestinians face daily to perform such basic things as going to work are rare in U.S. newspapers.

I recently lived in Nablus on the West Bank for three weeks while working for an American organization and observed exactly what Ms. El-Haddad described, although I did not experience it personally. I saw old women being forced to stand in the heat and young men burned red while they waited outside for hours.

Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is not simply a response to terrorism. The occupation was in place years before suicide bombings, and, as Ms. El-Haddad said, Israel's disengagement while still maintaining control of the borders will only create an "open-air prison" that will fuel more terror.


Silver Spring


Laila El-Haddad's piece would have a reader assume that Israel is undertaking the disengagement to somehow punish the Palestinians. She mentioned nothing of the terrorism that has killed 1,000 Israelis and maimed thousands more and has led a frustrated and demoralized Israeli leadership to pursue a unilateral disengagement.

She also mentioned nothing of the failure of the Palestinian Authority to rein in terrorism and nothing of the billions in aid that have poured into the Palestinian Authority and have been squandered.

Ms. El-Haddad, like other Arab journalists and academics, needs to stop blaming everyone else for the Palestinians' failures.


New York