Reading David Roet's letter [May 24] protesting the film Gaza Strip [Critic's Choice, April 19] requires rebuttal. Mr. Roet dismisses the allegations against Israel's actions as baseless and not worthy of a defense. Roet's belief that Israel is incapable of any atrocity is exactly the tactic that governs our press coverage of the Middle East. Calling the allegation anti-Semitic guarantees our press immediately echoing this to the public without discussion of the merits.
Israel has used this recently in the reoccupation of Palestinian lands. When it was reported that the barbaric behavior of the IDF in Jenin produced war crimes, Israel refused the UN access to evaluate the claims, with the USA, predictably, providing the necessary diplomatic cover in the UN. Despite this cover-up, Amnesty International has determined there were war crimes in Jenin.
Mr. Roet further inflicts the worst anti-Semitic (yes, Arabs are also Semites) language in defaming Yasser Arafat, calling him everything but a child of God. His vitriol is as defaming as can be. As for his assertion that over five Israeli prime ministers have stood ready to make "painful concession," I can only say that Rabin was sincere and fair in his negotiations. For that, he was assassinated by a religious zealot (i.e., terrorist) of the Jewish faith.
In fact, Newsweek reported that Rabin and Arafat had addressed and agreed to all the issues, including a five-year phase-in of the Palestinian state (by 1999), military outposts for Israel in the Jordan Valley, and a shared Jerusalem. Successive prime ministers, particularly Netanyahu, refused to implement their own signed agreements. Barak did make overtures and put a plan on the table at Camp David, but it wasn't sufficient for a viable Palestinian state.
Sharon, however, has proven to be the paragon of terrorism: by provoking Palestinians with his parade at the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, with his targeted assassination of Palestinian leaders after 9/11, and finally, with his reoccupation of Palestinian lands and the siege at the Church of the Nativity.
Mr. Sharon has consistently stated that there will be a "Greater Israel," with the borders extending to the Jordan River. His actions have effectively confirmed this vision.
He, like Bush, can enjoy popular support only through war. He spit in the face of Bush after he was told to pull back and dispatched the Nixonian Netanyahu to America for the purpose of intimidating senators Feinstein and McConnell, as well as procuring another $200 million from Congress on top of the already outrageous $3 billion afforded Israel each year.
Zionists in America equate any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic, yet they set about defaming Arabs and Arafat, in particular, with the worst insults a human can bestow. This list includes Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, who for years consistently stated in the press that all Arab and Muslim charities were supporting terrorism without offering any evidence.
After 9/11 our government has effectively shut down all major Muslim charities by freezing their assets without charging a crime. When Mr. Arnout of Benevolence International Foundation filed suit challenging the "Patriot Act" and its enforcement he was charged with lying on his affidavit. Nowhere in our history has a plaintiff been charged with perjury before a trial was conducted. Our government's actions are an obvious signal to all Arabs and Muslims to back off from challenging an unconstitutional law.
The mantra "never again" was popularized after WWII. It has happened again, with Israel the clear aggressor. Israel's strategy to steal every piece of land from Palestinians while deporting or otherwise exiling their population is happening now!