Regarding "Israel as a beacon of democracy, or not" [Letters, June 20], the increased checkpoints are necessary to ensure Israel's safety against terrorist attacks, which have escalated since the unity of Fatah and Hamas.

The recent kidnapping of three teenagers by Hamas is an example that this is a terrorist organization that seeks to destroy the Jews.

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Arab citizens have the right to vote, hold political positions in government and attend universities in Israel. They are treated in Israel's hospitals and even given transplants when necessary. This does not sound like they are being mistreated. In fact, many Arabs prefer to be citizens due to their good treatment.

Arab terrorist factions keep Israel from having a fully open society, for they have to do everything in their power to protect their citizens.

Rosalie Malkiel, Syosset