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Saturday, July 05, 2003

Letter to the Editor in Today's Daily Camera

ISRAEL-PALESTINE: Peretz offered up heaps of baloney

The scholarly prose of Martin Peretz's piece, "The New Fellow Travelers" (Insight, June 29), promised enlightenment, but delivered instead a super-sized helping of baloney. For those of us interested in understanding the valid concerns on both sides of the Israeli-Palestianian issue, based on facts and evidence, Peretz' propaganda was useless.

Among others, his statement that "we've had nearly a decade of Palestinian rule in the West Bank and Gaza" is completely false. Since the Six Day War of 1967, Israel has sustained an illegal military occupation of Palestinian land, including the West Bank (of the Jordan River), Gaza and East Jerusalem; hence the term "occupied territories." How would we Americans react if, say, Canada — imagine for a moment that they have a far-superior military — were to invade our country, throw us off our land, bulldoze our homes, murder our families, and deny us water resources needed for our livelihood?

Why should we care about the Israeli-Palestinian issue? First, Israel is by far the largest recipient of U.S. aid, receiving billions each year — which makes us an active participant in this conflict. Our tax dollars and defense industry provide Israel's military hardware, which is used to execute Israeli terror. Our tax dollars are building Israel's behemoth "separation wall" (aka "apartheid wall") near Qalqilya, which dwarfs the Berlin Wall and will eventually separate about 300,000 Palestinians from their land.

We should care because extreme Zionist interests do indeed affect U.S.-Mideast foreign policy, including the decision to invade Iraq. Finally, we should care because it is within our power to strongly advocate a truly fair and nonviolent resolution to this conflict.


The guest opinion to which Gibbs refers is available here.