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Friday, November 14, 2003

Letter in today's Boulder Daily Camera:

Israel can't claim to be a democracy
Marc Tanenbaum in his Nov. 4 Open Forum letter ("A culture of death hates lovers of life") contained some enormous inaccuracies. Mr. Tanenbaum claimed that former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad called for genocide against the Jewish people in his speech at an Islamic summit.

If Mr. Tanenbaum had actually read the speech (www.adl.org/Anti_semitism/malaysian.asp), he would have known that Mr. Mohamad made no such statement. The central message of Mr. Mohamad's speech was that Muslim countries need to achieve some of the things that Mr. Tanenbaum was advocating (stable and well-administered governments, strong economies and technologically advanced societies).

Mr. Tanenbaum also wrote about how democratic and free Israel is. Israel can only be viewed as a democracy if one discounts about half of the population under Israeli control. If Palestinians were allowed to vote in Israeli elections, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would not be in power and the continued expansion of illegal settlements would be stopped. Israel cannot solve the Palestinian issue by trying to transfer all Palestinians to Jordan and it cannot continue with an occupation that amounts to apartheid.

Mr. Tanenbaum needs to get his facts straight before declaring how much superior his culture is to the Muslims.'

WES ISENHART, Boulder

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