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.

Histories of Israel/Palestine

To The Independent, Sept. 26, 2006

Daniel Naftalin argues that your presentation of the facts of Israel's killing of Palestinian children is "a subject used throughout the years to marginalize and dehumanize Jews." He is misguided on two counts. Firstly, the photographs on your front page do show children who had been killed by Israelis. This is an incontrovertible fact and cannot be seen as being biased against Israel.

Secondly, the argument that every criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is wearing very thin indeed. It is also highly disrespectful of those Jews who suffered so much simply for being Jews. Their suffering had nothing to do with the State of Israel and should not be used to justify every argument in support of that state.

On the same day Professor Reuben suggests "if the notably underpopulated Arab states had compassion for their compatriots, every refugee could live in a palace." The arrogance of such a statement is unbelievable. I am a Palestinian. I wish to live in my homeland, on my father's land in Netanyah in Palestine. I would much rather live in a free and democratic Palestine in a small shack than in a palace in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait.

Dr. F.H. Mikdadi, Dorchester, UK

A Government in Jail

To The Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 25, 2006

Regarding the Sept. 14 article about the jailing of Hamas officials: It is not only the Palestinian government that is in jail. The entire West Bank and Gaza Strip have been turned into virtual open-air prisons as Israel continues to construct concrete walls, razor-wire fences, checkpoints, and roadblocks that hinder the lives of the Palestinian people as they try to navigate their way to do everyday tasks that many of us take for granted.

Recently, I spent more than two months with my wife and children in the Palestinian territories, and I could only shake my head in total shock at the way Palestinians are routinely treated by Israel and its army of occupation. Roads are closed or destroyed with no prior announcements, and Israeli soldiers who man the checkpoints and roadblocks do as they please regardless of the situation Palestinian travelers may be facing.

Policies and actions that should have the international community up in arms are routinely tolerated, leading me and many Palestinians to think that the world is filled with hypocrites who condemn Hezbollah and Hamas for abducting Israeli soldiers, yet remain silent as Palestinians are wasting away in Israeli prison camps, many without ever having any charges filed against them.

Mike Odetalla,Canton, MI

Arafat and the Holocaust

To TheWashington Post, Oct. 19, 2006

In his commentary on Arab attitudes toward the Holocaust, Robert Satloff stated that "only one Arab leader at or near the highest level of government-a young prince from a Persian Gulf state-has ever made an official visit" to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Mr. Satloff may be unaware that on an official visit to Washington in 1998, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat expressed a strong desire to visit the Holocaust museum, but his request was rejected by the museum. Though that decision was later reversed, the effort to blacklist Arafat was strongly endorsed by Israel's ambassador to Washington at the time, numerous American Jewish leaders and many members of Congress.

It is a shame that instead of welcoming Arafat's desire to pay his respects to the millions who died, American Jewish leaders and the Holocaust museum chose to demonize him as unfit to visit the museum. Because of their prejudice, a rare opportunity to increase mutual empathy and understanding was missed.

Afif Safieh, Head of the PLO Mission to the U.S., Washington, DC

Blair's Historic Folly in Iraq

To The Independent, Oct. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.