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

Discrimination Is Real in Israel

To The New York Times, Oct. 26, 2014

Re "Minority Life in Israel": I read Rula Jebreal's opinion article with a sense of recognition. As an American Jew who lived in Israel for 14 years in the late 1970s and 1980s, I recall only too intensely the racism and segregation.

I founded and ran a martial arts gym, to which I welcomed Palestinian students. Those Israelis who didn't object on an outright racist basis just thought I was a naïve American. When I would go and visit my students in their villages, Israeli acquaintances were appalled. I met few Jewish Israelis, other than my friends in the anti-occupation movement, who had ever been to a Palestinian home or invited an Arab to break bread.

Rula Jebreal's descriptions were measured, even mild, considering the hatred of Palestinians that has infected every corner of Israeli society today. The imposition of separation-on roads, in schools and neighborhoods, now buses-really is apartheid.

Sue Katz, Arlington, MA

Home Demolitions and the U.S.

To the Los Angeles Times, Nov. 25, 2014

The U.S. government's recent comments on Israel's resumption of demolishing the homes of Palestinians who carried out the attack on a Jerusalem synagogue are yet another typical verbal wrist slap for Israel. Similar responses from elsewhere in the world are, unfortunately, just as meaningless.

I keep wondering if our government, or anyone else for that matter, would one day suggest that Israel should also demolish the homes of Israelis who perpetrate crimes against Palestinians.

Jack Samara, Northridge, CA

The U.S.-Israel "Deal"

To the San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 3, 2014

Regarding "Why is Israel only allowed to build?" (Letters, Oct. 30), the deal is Israel is America's best friend, regardless of spying on America and threatening members of Congress with implacable, well-funded opposition unless Congress votes exactly the way the Israel lobby wants them to vote.

The deal is Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, regardless of driving Palestinians from their homeland, turning Palestinian families into the streets and bulldozing their homes, and most recently shelling U.N. schools sheltering Palestinian children.

The deal is, for unknown reasons, it is deemed racist to criticize Israel, even while they do their best to sabotage the talks with Iran aimed at preventing Iran from manufacturing nuclear weapons. Instead of talks, Israel wants the U.S. to launch an attack on Iran and plunge the world into another war.

Kumar Ravindran, San Leandro, CA

"Chickenshit" Name Not Issue

To The Boston Globe, Nov. 4, 2014

In light of all that is happening in the Middle East, especially the Gaza Strip and West Bank, it is surprising that Alan M. Dershowitz would write of such a minor matter ("Name-calling bruises U.S.-Israel relations," Op-ed, Nov. 1).

The article criticized a U.S. official for using a nasty name to describe Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. It is far more important to focus on the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip this year, in which 2,100 Palestinians were killed, many of them innocent children. The Israeli military destroyed buildings, electrical grids, and other civilian infrastructure.

The United States works hard to help Israel defy international laws, not only with funds, but with U.S.-made armaments. The United States should drastically lower the $3 billion in aid it gives Israel every year. It's time for Americans to get angry. Our taxes should not be paying for Israeli brutality.

Paul and Carol Rae Bradford, Somerville, MA

Europe Frustrated With Israel

To the San Jose Mercury News, Dec. 3, 2014

A seismic shiftis occurring in European capitals increasingly frustrated by Israel's intransigence toward Palestinian sovereignty as it builds more and more settlements on Palestinian land and demolishes homes. …

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