Letters for October 31, 2002
Hawk-y Slavin squawks again: This is my third attempt to castigate the Jew-hating and Israel-bashing liar Bob Norman. That's right, you're a liar! Norman wrote that Israel occupies other people's land, specifically, "Israel occupies the Palestinian territories." ("Wexler's Travels," October 24). That is a lie -- one of many Norman told in his hateful trilogy the past few weeks.
Israel won the land in question (the Gaza Strip, Judea, and Samaria) in defensive wars against Arab aggression in 1967 and 1973. Israel won Gaza from the Egyptians and won back Judea and Samaria (incorrectly called the "West Bank") from Jordan. It is important to note, by the way, that while Jordan illegally held the so-called "West Bank," there never was a call for a Palestinian state by Arabs living there. Never! Israel never fought a Palestinian entity. If anyone should claim that land, it should be Jordan, which lost it back to Israel. Jordan has never claimed that land and, in fact, now has a peace treaty with Israel.
While accusations (false ones, of course) about "massacres" by Israelis against Arabs now known as Palestinians continue, I remind even Norman about the most recent false claims of a massacre in Jenin -- one that never took place!
Oh, in closing, Ariel Sharon is a "Palestinian" born in British Mandatory Palestine. Yasser Arafat is Egyptian, born in Cairo. Once again, fuck you, Bob! You make George Bush look truthful.
Church + state = trouble: It is most encouraging that journalists are beginning to describe the kinds of quasi-alliances many of our elected representatives have made, though they deny them. Educating the U.S. public to some of the unseemly practices involved in getting elected, and staying elected, is important; that many representatives have divided loyalties that they can rationalize is clear and needs to be addressed forcefully in the media -- and in Congress itself.
Norman's remarks are appropriate and appreciated, and you are encouraged to continue to speak. Our nation will be stronger when we as citizens insist that our elected officials place our interests before those of a foreign nation, notwithstanding its claim of friendship to the U.S. Regrettably, our commander in chief himself publicly aligns himself with the Christian right, despite the impropriety of doing so. He should represent all of our best interests, not those of one religious sect.
I disagree with what you say, but...: I loved both your September 26 article "Hawking for Israel" (though I basically disagreed with it) as well as the plethora of reactions in the next issue's letters column. But what I really found cute and funny was that I found myself agreeing on one or the other matter with most of the quarreling parties and for reasons they themselves might disapprove of!
First, I am unequivocally pro-Israel for reasons that have nothing to do with Hitler, Jewish suffering, or sentimentality. The true reason we have given Israel so much is neither false guilt about the Holocaust nor because our country is supposedly controlled by the Bagel Mafia, assuming it even exists. Rather, it is because we have a common enemy in extremist Islamic terrorism, and Israel has been our paid and supplied pit bull. Give Israel a break! It wasn't they who came here and blew up our Pentagon and Twin Towers.
Second, I am sick and tired of certain elements in the Jewish community trying to tell other Americans what views or emotions are acceptable to express, using hackneyed clichés like "insensitive," "offensive," "divisive," or the like. We have hate-crime laws, and if any Jew is abused or harmed, he can go to the police. But two ethnic lobbies, the Holocaust lecturers and Cuban exiles in Miami, really need to be put in their places when they try to tell the rest of America what opinions we are permitted to express about Fidel Castro or Jews and Israel. Even though I basically disagreed with your premise that Jewish pressure is behind this Saddam initiative, I was thrilled that you were unafraid and able to publish that article.
Then, as a descendant of the Hindu people, I have the same bitter memories of Islamic barbarity against my ancestors that Americans of Armenian lineage do of the Turkish genocide. I don't care what politically correct speeches President Bush gives: Whatever Prophet Muhammad may have sincerely intended, Islam in practice has become something dictatorial. Saudi Arabia poses as our friend but pampers those who harm us. It is disgusting how we bow and scrape before these desert primitives. Yet my question is: Why is the tail wagging the dog?
The bottom line is oil and the oil lobby, not the Jewish lobby. Our economy, over decades, has evolved the same addiction to imported oil that alcoholics or drug addicts develop to liquor or crack. And because the big oil companies are so powerful, they have delayed the development of alternate, America-originated sources of energy.
Listen, I despise the Anti-Defamation League and their McCarthyist harassment of anyone daring to criticize Jews or Israel -- so much that sometimes I almost wish Mohamed Atta had flown that plane into them instead of the WTC. But let us be fair. It was not they or the Israelis who massacred our people on September 11. It was Muslim extremists. And it is precisely because we have failed to replace oil with other energy sources that human cockroaches like Atta and company can enter the country under false pretenses, get American educations, and steal American planes to murder our people.
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