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

Remembering Edward Said

To The Guardian, Sept. 23, 2013

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Edward Said, the renowned U.S. academic and author of Orientalism, the groundbreaking critique of Western colonialism. Jerusalem-born Dr. Said fought for a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and abhorred violence on both sides. In the 1990s he co-founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim in an attempt to promote mutual understanding. During his immensely productive period as professor of comparative literature at Columbia University, Said suffered intimidation because of his unstinting support for Palestinians suffering human rights abuses in the occupied territories. His brilliant essays on the post-colonial world and Western foreign policy, together with classical music and literary reviews, found him allies in the form of Noam Chomsky, and high-profile opponents such as the historian Bernard Lewis. At a time when the Middle East is as troubled as ever, the world continues to miss such an informed and eloquent voice for peace and reconciliation.

Andrew Allen, Norwich, England

The Golden Rule Also Applies to Israel

To The Times of Trenton, Oct. 21, 2013

I was interested to read "Pro-Palestinian move stirs concern at Rutgers" (Oct. 16) about the distribution of fake "eviction notices" in Rutgers dorms by the Rutgers' chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. Their purpose was to call attention to what has happened to thousands of Palestinians in the occupied territories in Israel.

How ironic that the objections to this come mostly from a leader at Hillel, the campus Jewish organization. Hillel was a famous teacher in Jerusalem around the first century, who, when asked by a critic to summarize the Torah, said, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor." Growing up in a Jewish home, I always assumed that this was common sense for everybody. When and how did some come to think that Hillel's Golden Rule should not apply to Israel and her neighbors?

Judy Livingston, Hopewell Borough, NJ

Palestinians Are Suffering

To the Port Townsend & Jefferson County [WA] Leader, Oct. 9, 2013

The people of Palestine are suffering under cruel, oppressive and aggressive manipulation of their land, their homes and their ancient olive groves from which they earn their livelihood.

Israeli bulldozers bury their identities almost daily. A climate of fear exists every day. They are pushed and prodded like cattle as they line up in the wee hours at checkpoints to reach their jobs in Israel. Over a million of them live in a narrow strip of land called Gaza.

This is disgraceful. This is inhumane. This is terror. And with our tax dollars, we have a hand in their suffering.

Kathleen Jackson, Port Townsend, WA

Israel Does Have the Bomb

To The Washington Post, Oct. 4, 2013

The Post covered Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's address to the U.N. General Assembly about Iran ["Israel ready to act alone on Iran, Netanyahu says," news, Oct. 2] without providing essential context: Israel possesses nuclear weapons and is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

Every article describing tensions between Israel and Iran ought to restate Israel's nuclear monopoly in the region. Without this context, readers might be perplexed by the divergence between the Obama administration's judicious openness to negotiations with Iran and Netanyahu's threats and uncompromising tone.

Brendan Martin, Arlington, VA

Israel Still Punishing Nuclear Whistleblower

To The Dominion Post, Sept. 25, 2013

The claim, in a new report by United States experts, that Israel has 80 nuclear warheads and the material for making more (World, Sept. 17) is no surprise. Israel's nuclear capacity has been an open secret since 1986, when Mordechai Vanunu broke the news to Britain's Sunday Times. …

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