I lost respect for your publication a long time ago and stopped
purchasing it. Then I stopped reading it even when it was given
to me for free. However, this morning, a colleague forced me to
read your obscene editorial on the Gaza evacuation plan. I was shocked
to discover that you descended to even lower depths of chicanery
than I anticipated. Your editorial was not only biased and inaccurate,
but outright deceptive and sinister. Below is a list of your comments
that I found extremely offensive, followed by my reasons. I hope
that you will have the decency to make the necessary apologies and
corrections in a subsequent editorial:
1. It deserves support simply because it leads to the breakup
of Jewish settlements that force Israeli security troops
Whats so good about breaking up Jewish settlements? Do they
cause anyone any trouble? Why dont they have a right to live
there? If Jews have a right to settle in Florida or Arizona, why
shouldnt they have a right to settle in Gaza? Why dont
you advocate resettling some of the Arabs in twenty surrounding
Arab countries? That would make Gaza a better place for everyone.
Why are Israeli troops forced to defend the settlers? Because the
Arabs refuse to tolerate their presence and would do whatever they
could to kill as many as possible. Why dont you condemn their
2. Gaza-a teeming, thirsty strip of land in which 7,500 militant
The militants of Hamas and Islamic Jihad
How dare you apply the same term militant to peaceful
settlers and barbarian terrorists? Why are the Jews called militants?
Because they dont want to be evicted from their homes? Do
they advocate killing anyone? Are they intolerant towards other
ethnic groups? Why is Gaza teeming? Because in 55 years, the UNWRA
and the neighboring Arab countries refused to resettle them in suitable
communities. Why cant a million Arabs accept the presence
of 8000 peaceful Jews who are growing broccoli and cauliflower?
Why should it be necessary for 20,000 soldiers to protect small,
peaceful Jewish communities? Because the Arabs refuse to tolerate
the presence of even a small number of Jews. These soldiers are
not just defending 8000 settlers, they are defending the civil rights
of all Jews everywhere. How many American soldiers had to escort
the first Black children to enroll in the segregated white schools
of the American South in 1954?
3. Leaving Gaza will make Israel safer only if it is seen
as a first step toward leaving the West Bank. Do you really
believe that Gaza and the West Bank should be declared Judenrein
and this will improve Israels security? What evidence do you
have for that statement? Why dont you read your own newspaper
articles over the last fifty years? Did you bother to look at a
4. The old roadmap for peace which the Bush administration
has shamefully failed to pressure Israel to pursue
have the Palestinian Arabs done to meet their obligations under
the roadmap? Have they given any indication that they are ready
to abandon terrorism and live in peaceful coexistence? What do you
expect Israel to do if their citizens are attacked on a daily basis?
5. Mr. Sharon is
erasing all vestiges of the Oslo peace
accords, battering Palestinian militants whenever and wherever possible
What have the Palestinians done to maintain the Oslo accords? Did
they ever accept Israel as a neighbor and agree to mutual cooperation?
The US Army went all the way to Afghanistan and Iraq to pursue terrorists,
doesnt Israel have the same right to protect its citizens
from the vicious, murderous, barbaric, Palestinian militants?
If they stopped their terrorism then there wouldnt be any
more civilians killed on both sides.
6. The powerful and passionate settler movement is certain
to use all means, including violence, to prevent the withdrawal.
They should be passionate about being evicted from their homes,
you would be, too. They are not powerful or violent and you have
no right to say that without evidence to support such an inflammatory
In sum, your vitriolic attack on the Jewish families in Gaza and
the Prime Minister of Israel does nothing to contribute to a peaceful
solution to the conflict. What it does, is incite more Jews like
myself to become more militant in advocating for the
rights of Jews to live in peace and security in the tiny land to
which they have strong historical, religious, and cultural connections.
(c) 2004, I. Zwick, NYC
Israel Zwick is a commentator on the Middle East based in New York.