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Monday, January 26, 2004

Kol hakavod, Ladies!
Defenders of Israel in the Daily Camera

Harriet Templer: Lands disputed, not 'occupied'
In her Jan. 6 letter, "Objection is to Israel, not Jews," Haleh Wolfe makes three mistakes, perhaps due to her education in Iran.

1) She speaks of "Palestinian land" and "Palestinian territories." These are disputed territories, as she will discover if she reads an unbiased historical account from 1947. And if she points to a current majority of Arabs in the area, she will find in such history accounts of Arab massacres of Jews before the Jewish state of Israel was born, of massive Arab immigration from neighboring Arab countries, and of destruction of longstanding Jewish villages by invading Transjordanian and Egyptian armies in 1948.

2) Israel is not occupying this area; it polices it to stop Arab terrorists from murdering Israeli civilians.

3) Iran's reason for rejecting a widely respected Israeli rescue team is not, as Ms. Wolfe claims, because of anything Israel has done. Long before the founding of Israel, Muslim countries in the Middle East hated Jews for being Jews, partly because of comments made in the Koran, but mainly because of incitement by corrupt and opportunistic politicians.

Mimi Ito: No Justification for Targeting Innocents
Joseph Richey (Jan. 7) claims that the Bush administration "seems to do everything in its power to incite and induce terror attacks on innocent Americans." Others say, "I don't condone terrorism, but..." or as M. Donahue (Jan. 17) seems to believe, terrorists are "desperate" and their terrorism results from "U.S. actions in the world."

I am so tired of hearing that it is the victims' fault for terrorism. A victim of a bully is not responsible for the bully's attack; a battered woman is not responsible for the violence of her abuser. Why then the double standard on terrorism? It doesn't matter how just the cause of the terrorist might be; terrorism, the deliberate targeting of innocent men, women and children, is wrong.

Until we are willing to be firm and consistent in our fight against terrorism, holding the terrorists responsible for their actions, no matter what their reasons, their background or their religion, we will not win this fight. If you think that terrorism is caused by poverty or desperation (a popular myth), the evidence does not support that. The 9-11 terrorists all came from well-to-do families. A very high number of terrorists are university educated, often with degrees in engineering and the sciences. In the words of Iraqi dissident, Kanan Makiya, who wrote of the 9-11 terrorism, "To argue ... that 'Americans should ask themselves why they are hated in the world' is ... to provide a justification, however unwittingly, for this kind of warped mindset. ... Worse than being wrong, however, it is morally bankrupt, to say nothing of being counterproductive." (The Observer, Oct. 7, 2001)