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Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Submitted today to the Daily Camera
Juliet Wittman (Aug. 6) is correct that Mimi Ito made a mistake in quoting her; Wittman did not say “indigenous people,” though she did supply a quote that referred to the Aztec and Sioux. This is a red herring: if you can’t win the argument, try changing the subject.

What about the substantive issues? Wittman's letter failed to address Ito’s assertion that Jews come from, and have continuously inhabited the land of Israel for over 3,000 years. She did not confront Ito’s remarks about antisemitism and criticism of Israel, nor the question of moral equivalence. In the one argument she put forward, about the number of Palestinians wanting peaceful coexistence, Wittman perniciously accused Ito of “indifference to accuracy” and distortion of survey results, neither of which is true.

A Pew Global Attitudes poll of 15,000 people in eight Arab and Muslim countries (June) revealed that 80% of Palestinians agreed with the statement, “The rights and needs of the Palestinian people cannot be taken care of as long as the State of Israel exists.” 90% of Moroccans, 85% of Jordanians and 72% of Kuwaitis also agreed with this statement, as did solid majorities in Lebanon, Pakistan and Indonesia.

Beyond polls, we can extrapolate from current events: July 7th a Palestinian suicide bomber blew up a grandmother in her own home. This morning (Aug. 12), a 42-year-old father of two walked into a grocery store and never walked out, murdered by a suicide bomber. An hour later, another bomber blew up a teenager standing at a bus stop.

Wittman does not cry out, in mourning or in outrage, that this is unacceptable in our world. Rather, she advises that we ignore the “agitators” (sic).

Terrorism is thriving on such well-intentioned but severely misguided acceptance. How hard can it be to understand that NO MATTER WHAT, it is wrong to detonate a nail bomb laced with rat poison next to a pregnant woman?

Anne Lieberman
Boulder, Colorado