The Axis of Conflict. (Letters to the Editor)
In "Bush's Axis of Evil," John Swomley complains that he doesn't like President Bush's selection of nations for the "axis of evil." In particular, Swomley is offended that "Bush produces no evidence to justify the selection of these nations while excluding others."
I suggest Swomley is guilty of the very same offense for which he excoriates the president. Swomley spends a great deal of time discussing what he calls Israeli terrorism but never mentions the terrorism against Israeli civilians by various Arab groups within Palestine, with support from Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Neither does he mention the racial epithets spewed daily in Palestinian and other Arab papers against the Jewish people which incite such terrorist acts. Swomley, like Bush, produces no evidence in support of his list.
In "Origins of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict" (also July/August 2002), David Schafer purports to outline the origins of the conflict and concludes that his discourse provides enough information so that "we could stop here and invite the reader to finger the culprit or predict the course of later events." Schafer implicitly assumes that by pointing fingers at people or situations in the past a solution to the present violence will emerge. I would suggest that the best way to solve these problems is by dropping past resentments and dealing with present realities. One of these realities is the role religion plays in this and other violent situations throughout the world. Humanists have a responsibility to show the negative impact of religion in the present Mid-East situation. …