I read biased and inflammatory articles about Israel, I often
write to the editor to provide an opposing viewpoint. Since
there are usually two sides to every story, I write about
the Israeli perspective. This time, however, confronted with
Mr. Parrish’s incredible caricature of the events unfolding
in the West Bank [“Under Siege,” April 11], I am not sure
how to respond. On the positive side, I can say that Mr. Parrish
certainly has the command of many adjectives and has mastered
the hackneyed rhetoric of victimologists who write with an
agenda rather than with the rules of journalism in mind.
Instead of responding to Mr. Parrish’s article, which is based
on reports gathered from Palestinian propagandists, I wish
to paint a scenario for your readers. I hope you will indulge
Imagine if you will, that Schenectady is a Native American
reservation. The people living there tell you that you are
on their land and they want it back. They maintain that as
descendants of European settlers who stole their land, you
have no right to be there and have no historic ties to it.
(This element of the scenario is pretty strong because Jews
at least have a historic interest in Israel).
It’s Friday night. You just finished your ropa vieja at Justin’s
and you decide to walk to the Larkin to hear some music. As
you reach the home of the Lark Street psychic, there is a
massive explosion. Justin’s, brimming with people, some of
whom you know personally, is destroyed. Many die, many others
are wounded. You rush back to Justin’s and see the devastation.
Blood and body parts are everywhere. You think to yourself
how lucky you are to be alive. You are also traumatized for
Two weeks later, you are waiting for the Central Avenue bus.
After all, you are an environmentalist and a proponent of
mass transit. As the bus approaches the stop, it explodes
into a fiery wreck. No survivors.
As the bombings become more frequent, you ask yourself some
questions. Is it safe to dine on Lark Street anymore? Is it
safe to get on a bus? You decide that life must go on.
One Sunday, you stay home to read The New York Times
and do the crossword puzzle. You turn on the television. A
bomb has just exploded at Crossgates Mall—20 dead, 80 wounded.
What do you do? Months have gone by and there is no end to
the terror. You are afraid to go out anymore. You have lost
friends and family. Children are being killed. You tried negotiating,
but the Native Americans walked away from the table. Should
you give up your home and move back to Ireland? Or do you
ask your government to stop the terrorism?
To the Editor:
is sad that Metroland has jumped on the bandwagon of
those who seek to demonize Israel. It is to be expected that
Arab and Muslim propagandists will spew forth their lies and
their hatred for Israel. It is disappointing, however, that
otherwise liberal and compassionate people throughout the
world have been so quick to believe them and join in the hue
and cry [“Occupational Hazards,” April 11].
The anti-Israel propaganda has served also to blur the line
between anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Jewish sentiment. It
is not surprising that the anti-Israel propaganda has led
to a resurgence of anti-Jewish violence throughout the world,
with arson, bombings, desecration and physical attacks increasing
against Jewish institutions and people in France and other
countries. Are these precursors of a new Holocaust to be visited
on the Jewish people?
The continuing bloodshed in Israel is deplorable. However,
years of negotiations with Arafat and his ilk have shown that
he and they are unwilling and unable to control Palestinian
terrorists. Their ultimate aim continues to be the complete
destruction of Israel.
I am reminded of Hitler in the 1930s, who, at every stage
of his progressive domination of his neighbors, promised peace
if only the world would allow him his latest takeover. I remember
newsreel pictures of Neville Chamberlain waving a paper signed
by Hitler, “guaranteeing peace in our time.” The world knows
how valueless that piece of paper was. We have seen how equally
valueless have been Arafat’s promises to stop the present
When the United States suffered acts of terrorism on Sept.
11, prompt military, political and economic actions were taken
against the source of that terrorism. Israel has suffered
from years of terrorism. Why does the world condemn it for
striking at the root of the evil?
thoroughly enjoyed your April 11 issue, starting with the
cover on Mother Judge. It’s about time she got some recognition
for all that nurturing of the local music community that she
has been doing for so long [“Maternal Flame”]. Bravo, Caroline!
Thanks also to Metroland for continuing to provide
editorial balance to the crisis in Israel/Palestine by including
a Palestinian perspective that seems absent from most of the
mainstream media [“Occupational Hazards”]. The series of articles
that appeared was a fine follow-up to the articles you published
on the same crisis last year, just prior to Sept. 11.
I recently read somewhere that one third of U.S. foreign aid
goes to Israel. Doesn’t that make as much sense as sending
one third of our foreign aid to say, Northern Ireland? Can
you imagine what the political reaction in this country would
be like if the United States did so, and the Ulster Protestants
used the money to craft themselves the most advanced military
on earth, complete with nuclear weapons and smart missiles
so accurate that they could target individuals sitting in
their homes and blow them up from miles away while their huge
tanks rumbled through refugee camps in occupied counties from
Donegal to Dublin, demolishing the humble homes and murdering
hundreds of the hapless Catholics who were left with nothing
but stones to throw in retaliation and who, if they wanted
to retaliate with explosives, had no technology but to deliver
them personally, killing themselves along with their other
targets in order to make their point?
Has a single politician yet stood up to call for cutting—better
yet, eliminating—foreign aid to Israel in the midst of this
current crisis? At best, this is money squandered that could
otherwise be used to fight poverty and injustice here at home.
At worst, it could be creating enemies angry, crazy and desperate
enough to fly their hijacked planes into our tallest buildings
in an attempt to try to wake us up.
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