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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Joe's letter "mixes up Jews with the Israeli government"

in today's Daily Camera
IRAN: Objection is to Israel, not Jews

Joe Madalia's Jan. 3 Open Forum letter, "Hating Jews More Vital than Aid?", is an example of yet another Westerner who doesn't seek to really understand the underlying political realities of the Middle East, Israel and Iran.

Simply put, the Iranian government believes that the Israeli government illegally occupies Palestinian land. Even the U.S. government is increasing pressure on Israel to leave Palestinian territories. Mr. Madalia's letter mixes up Jews with the Israeli government. There are many Jews within and outside Israel who disagree with their government's policies. Iran has not rejected aid from people of Jewish faith — it has rejected Israeli government presence within what it considers to be Palestinian borders.

As a Muslim woman and Iranian-American, I am first and foremost a human being, and I extend my gratitude to all who have offered to help the earthquake victims and hope that we can move toward greater understanding and peace in this coming year. To help earthquake victims, please visit the International Red Cross website at www.ifrc.org/helpnow/donate/donate_iran.asp.

HALEH WOLFE
Longmont
Joe, you silly infidel, how could you get so mixed up? Iran is just protesting the policies of this particular government of Israel. I'm sure they were very open and friendly to, say, the Rabin government. Weren't they?
UPDATE, hot off the presses:

Dear Editor,

I appreciate Ms. Wolfe's response to my concerns about the Iranian government's refusing aid from Israel during the dreadful earthquake disaster in Iran. Since the government of Iran is so concerned about "occupation", why did it not formally announce rejection of help from Syria which illegally occupies and controls its neighbor Lebanon. Of course to my knowledge, Syria has not offered help anyway. It sometimes takes "another Westerner" who does know the realities of the Middle East extremely well to cut through uncalled for hatred on the part of the government of Iran. When your people are suffering, this is no time to let politics get in the way. Preserving life as the highest priority is indeed a "Western" value, and one that the Iranian government should learn.

Joe Madalia
Boulder
Whether or not the Camera publishes Joe's (excellent) rebuttal, given its policy of allowing only one letter per person per month, others should step up and help out. Now's the time.