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More facts, fewer feelings needed regarding Middle East

Dear Editor,

Just as Mr. Rosenberg says in his letter in the April 24 issue of the Post Independent, I feel the need to respond to letters to the editor in regard to the tragic situation in the Middle East.

His entire letter is an exercise in expressing his emotions and feelings on this subject. As Americans we have been ridiculed for making decisions based on feelings rather than on reason. I am sympathetic to Mr. Rosenberg’s feelings. They seem to be driven by emotions but, unfortunately, without much regards to the facts. To be generous, I lay the blame on a lack of information.

He need have no fear that his readers would think that his “blindly pro-Israeli” stance was “due to his religion.” His stance is probably due to his education and culture, which is the result of a history of discrimination and violence against the Jews by others of which Christians were the most at fault.

This attitude was reinforced by the actions perpetrated by the Nazis, whose motivation was not religious but racial. We all remember the “Master Race.”

Other grievances they may harbor as a result of World War II include the perception that Europeans did not rescue them, the Pope was “anti-Semitic,” the United States waited until Pearl Harbor to join the war against the Nazis, Jewish refugees were denied refuge in some countries, and so on.

It should not be overlooked that Zionism, which was the motive force for the creation of the state of Israel, was and is a purely nonreligious secular movement.

Returning to Mr. Rosenberg’s letter, I counted six occasions when he makes rather insulting statements characterizing people he disagrees with as being “naive,” and having a “clouded vision.” A rational person would say that his vision is clearly in doubt. One cannot blame him personally when one analyzes the propaganda to which he must have been subjected in his life, starting with early religious training, reinforced by a brainwashing stay in Israel.

If you add to this the average coverage of the Middle East in our media, both press and TV, a good case can be made that many people have been misinformed. Maybe if Mr. Rosenberg wants to inform himself and join the adult population of the world that makes rational decisions, he could subscribe to The Nation, look at Jewish Peace News on Yahoo, get the BBC news on his computer, read the New York Times Review of Books, etc. There is a lot of literature on the subject available.

One of the most flagrant examples of misinformation to which he has become the victim is his reference to Barak’s “generous” offer to Arafat at Camp David. The short time left in Mr. Clinton’s term to reach an Israeli/Palestinian peace was reduced by Barak’s attempt to isolate the Palestinians by making an agreement with the Syrians first. It didn’t work and made Mr. Clinton very cross.

In any event, the “generous” plan was Mr. Clinton’s, not Mr. Barak’s, and there is considerable doubt that he would have been able to sell it to his electorate. The plan which we praise as being “generous” would have resulted in a nonviable state of a number of Palestinian cities separated from each other by very wide roads linking large Israeli colonial settlements, with no right to an army, no control over boundaries, etc.

Mr. Clinton had promised Arafat that he would not blame him for not agreeing to this illusory scheme, but immediately broke this promise, maybe driven by his disappointment in seeing his chance for a Nobel Peace Prize slip through his fingers.

In his last sentences, Mr. Rosenberg is unable not to express his feelings once again. In this matter he would be well served by listening to Dr. Laura (Schlesinger) who advises people in the sternest manner to think and not to feel. She thinks that to do otherwise is “childish.”

He is also unable not to blame some invisible conspiracy being responsible for there being no peace in sight. In this he is correct. The conspirators are our administration and Congress in league with the Israeli government. These delays give the Israelis more time to colonize the West Bank, more time to accomplish their aim of ethnic cleansing, and enable our politicians to collect more campaign contributions.

Sincerely,

Richard B. Veit

Carbondale


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