Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Article excerpt

Some letters by or to other people are as informative for our readers as anything we might write ourselves.

Covering the Mideast War

To The International Herald Tribune, Aug. 18,2006

The Israeli-Lebanese war began while my wife and I were at home in France. We immediately noted a difference in European coverage of the conflict from what we have come to expect from U.S. media sources. The European media was both more informative and more neutral.

We also had the opportunity to watch the network Al Jazeera, whose television coverage was distinctly different from the U.S. and European media.

Al Jazeera's crews were sometimes very near the action, and almost always arrived ahead of any other media crews to broadcast scenes of war. Their coverage of the Qana bombing, much of it without comment, lasted all day-dead babies, women and young children being pulled out of the rubble, wounded and horribly maimed adults staggering around in shock. It was sickening, depressing and horrifying. It was the kind of coverage not seen in any Western media, but just the kind of coverage all wars need and deserve for the reasons Kessel and Klochendler state: to help answer questions on what the war might be about.

David Sheegog, Paoli, OK

Israel's Abuses

To The Sacramento Bee, Aug. 25, 2006

Like the boy who cried wolf in the fable, supporters of Israel who cry "anti-Semitism" in response to criticism of Israel face a credibility problem in light of the incontestable abuses committed by that state.

A Human Rights Watch report released in August accuses Israel of indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Lebanon. Amnesty International and the Israeli human-rights group B'tselem have accused Israel of repeated human-rights violations against Palestinians, including torture and other crimes against humanity. Dismissing such compelling evidence of abuse on the part of Israel as mere anti-Semitism only serves to render the term meaningless.

Kenneth Gozlyn, San Francisco, CA

"As a Jew..."

To the San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 5, 2006

Growing up in the United States in the 1950s, I was taught that-as a Jew-my obligation was to stand against injustice. My people had suffered, I was told, and I must always actively work to prevent the suffering of others. I was taught: justice, tzedaka.

So I don't understand the many letters written by Jews and printed in The Chronicle that equate any questioning of Israel's actions (and the inevitable suffering caused' to Palestinians and Lebanese as a result) with anti-Semitism.

I was taught by my Jewish parents, aunts and uncles, baubie and zadie-all of whom had lived through the Holocaust-that not to be actively concerned about the suffering of others was "anti-Semitic," a profound going against the deepest Jewish values and ethics.

Judith Tannenbaum, El Cerrito, CA

Peace, Anytime

To The Washington Post, Sept. 4, 2006

Regarding the Aug. 29 editorial "Beyond the Cease-Fire; Nice as it sounds, this is not the moment for an Israeli-Arab peace settlement": Anytime is a moment for an Israeli-Arab peace settlement. Anytime is a good moment for the forces of peace to change the landscape.

Bernardo Ureste, Houston, TX

Fate of Jews and Arabs in Palestine

To The Independent, Aug. 15, 2006

Being Jewish by race I have a right to return to Israel should I desire. However I am so appalled by what this country stands for that I could never claim this right. Couldn't I just give it to a Palestinian refugee instead?

Thomas Eisner, London, England

Right of Return!

To The Independent, Aug. 18, 2006

I read Alex Swanson's letter, which stated that the descendants of the Jews should have the right of return to Palestine, and remarked how relevant it was to my own life, as I had just returned home to find a nice young Welsh couple occupying my house. …

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