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U.S. SUPPORT OF ISRAEL SPURS ANIMOSITY IN MIDDLE EAST

The interesting Viewpoints article, "Do they really hate us?" -- regarding Muslims' opinions of Americans -- failed to focus on what many experts consider the core issue causing animosity toward America in the Middle East.

In the summer of 2001, my son Nicholas traveled for several months in five Muslim countries: Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. An outgoing traveler, he visited with the "man in the street" wherever he went. He found almost all admired much in America -- our technology, products and entertainment -- but especially our vaunted "fairness" and concern for the underdog.

And in each country, he was asked the identical question, over and over: "How can your government support and condone an aggressor nation?" They were referring to Israel, and its occupation of most of Palestine. They were baffled and angry at American hypocrisy. He had a difficult time explaining it.

Daniel Reiff

Kenmore