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What's an Apologist?

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To the editors:

Robert McClory, author of the Reader article "Children of the Holocaust" [July 6], is either disingenuous or ignorant when he states that the term apologist is not politically loaded, as he did in his reply to a letter by Michael Kotzin (Aug. 31).

Kotzin was correct to object to McClory's description of Carlos Rizowy as an apologist for Israel. He could have as easily described Rizowy as a defender or supporter of the State of Israel. This would have been a politically neutral term.

The word apologist connotates one who consistently makes excuses for an indefensible position. While this may not be the literal definition (Webster's defines an apologist as "one who defends or attempts to defend or justify a doctrine, faith, action etc."), the word is commonly used as a pejorative. Somone as sophisticated as Robert McClory knows or should know this.

To make the understood usage perfectly clear, this letter is defending Michael Kotzin, it is not apologizing for him.

Evan J. Winer

W. Greenleaf

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