Correspondence | Published:

Violence versus freedom


I read with great interest your News story about academic cooperation during the recent violence here (Nature 417, 209–210; 2002). Unfortunately, scientific work has become another victim of the violence. A related point is that of freedom of movement.

For many years, Palestinians could travel fairly freely in Israel. Thousands worked here on a daily basis. The increase in terrorist attacks, especially the suicide bombings, has made this freedom of movement unwise and dangerous. Many innocent people, including scientists, suffer as a result. Israelis are forbidden by the Israeli government to visit the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, for their own safety. Israelis who visit Palestinian cities are likely to pay with their lives: hardly “freedom of movement”.

I hope that we will manage to achieve a more rational, calm atmosphere in this part of the world — but I fear that it will take some time.

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