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Above the Fray


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To the editors.

Your recent article about the Israeli 40th anniversary/Palestinian demonstration ["Demonstration," May 6] was very disturbing for its apparent tokenism to this most explosive subject. Is the Reader cowering in a corner, trembling at the knees at the impending necessity to take a stand in this volatile situation? I find it pretty disparaging that the major "liberal" paper in a metropolis the size and significance of Chicago can spend the last five months totally ignoring the most dynamic and urgent phenomenon in the world, the Palestinian people's Intefadeh. And then, when you do deign to admit something's going on which might actually interest people in Chicago, what do we get but this namby-pamby diffusion, an abstraction on the moral dilemma of pacifism, as far removed from the actual political context as one can possibly stretch.

Do the editors of the Reader feel they are above this struggle, that they can endorse this kind of voyeurism and thus get away with being so-called "a-political"? To this reader, and I'm certain to quite a few more, turning one's back to a struggle of this magnitude is in fact an acceptance of the status quo: in this case, the brutal repression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state.

There has to be a time when distanced intellectuals and academics recognize that there is no such thing in reality as standing above the fray.

Vera Terapin


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