Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Letters to the Editor

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

News in a Vacuum

Your ad in the July 21 New York Times is the first suggestion I've seen that Hamas' and Hezbollah's attacks on Israel did not just happen in a vacuum, but rather are a result of 38 years of oppression. The sad fact is that I have given up writing congressmen, since I find it about as productive as "pissing in the wind." We are once again with 99 percent support of Israel, "begging" for a cease-fire, blaming the situation on Arab "terrorists," and burying our heads in the sand as to the real causes of the situation.

Meanwhile we abandon two freely elected democratic Arab governments, supposedly a cornerstone of our so-called Middle East policy, and blissfully ignore the destruction of Gaza and Lebanon (all with U.S.-supplied weapons, of course), the incredible suffering imposed on innocent people, and the outright injury and death inflicted on thousands.

My admiration for the unflinching courage and determination that your magazine and organization have shown over the years only grows.

What has become of our country?!

John M. Mulholland, Alpharetta, GA

Not Israel's Strong Point

When the Israeli attack on Lebanon started, there was a big clamor that Hezbollah must be brought to comply with the United Nations resolution calling for it to disband. The Israelis, the U.S. administration and The New York Times were all righteously trumpeting the importance of such U.N. resolutions. However, I notice a sudden decrease in emphasis on this point by these former stalwarts of international law. I think it has dawned on them that it isn't a strong point for Israel, the world's champion flouter of United Nations resolutions! And of course Israel has been saved from even greater disgrace by the many U.S. vetoes of other critical resolutions.

Albert Regan Doyle, Sanibel, FL

Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton cast the 40th such U.S. veto on July 13, 2006, against a resolution calling on Israel to halt its military operations in Gaza; for the first 39, see Donald Neff's compilation on p. 14 of the May/June 2005 Washington Report.

A Modest Proposal

A modest proposal: If, as suggested by Condi Rice, the U.S. really believes that the current orgy of death and destruction should serve as a catalyst (or "birth pangs") for a "New Middle East" in which the root causes of the region's problems are decisively addressed, it should not stop at demanding implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, the relatively recent resolution (adopted by the bare minimum of nine affirmative votes) calling for the disarmament of Lebanese militias (i.e., Hezbollah).

It should demand that Resolution 1559 and Resolution 242, the venerable resolution calling for Israel's withdrawal from Arab territories occupied 39 years ago, should both be implemented-simultaneously.

Is there some reason which would prevent the United States from adopting and promoting a policy which would be intellectually coherent, morally sound, consistent with international law and responsive to the wishes of most of mankind?

Actually, I suppose that I have just cited four reasons.

John Whitbeck, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Election 2006

Thank you for your listing of funds from pro-Israel PACs to American politicians (August 2006 Washington Report, p. 26). I notice that for the last election in 2004 you had Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) listed but have no listing this year. Is this a mistake? I also see Clair McCaskill listed as getting $2,611.

I have been a poor war tax resister since I found out that U.S. taxpayers' funds support Israeli murders and thefts. We sure could use $189 billion for universal health care. Thanks for keeping us informed.

Margie R. Eucalyptus, Kansas City, MO

Most, but not all, senators only receive campaign contributions when they are up for re-election-i.e., every six years. Senator Bond's next opportunity to add to his career total of $165,700 in pro-Israel PAC contributions will not occur until 2010. …

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