DISCUSSING ISSUES IS EASY IF YOU IGNORE A FEW FACTS
To KQED-FM, San Francisco
Sent via e-mail to email@example.com
I have to say that this morning's KQED "Forum" program on the Middle East (3.22.02) was one of the most offensive discussions of the Palestinian-Israeli issue I've heard in a long time. And that's saying something.
The contributions of former ambassador Ned Walker of the Middle East Institute were particularly disgusting: "Arabs want a double standard from the rest of the world...Germany lost East Prussia in WWII and you don't see a movement for right of return for Prussians." Huh? Apparently, according to Walker, Palestinians should just accept that their land was taken from them by military force (beginning in 1948 and continuing today) and just shut up. How dare the conquered challenge the conqueror? Just where do you find such jerks?
And where were some basic facts, namely:
1) Israel receives more than $3 billion in aid, primarily military, from the US every year; the US is not a "neutral" party.
2) Israel continues an illegal occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, condemned by, among other things, UN Security Resolution 242, which was supported even by the US.
3) Israel's abusive treatment of Palestinians under occupation has been condemned by numerous human rights organizations, including B'Tselem, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
4) Israel itself is NOT a legitimate state, but rather a creation of Anglo-American imperialism (see point 1 above), launched as a proxy when the British could no longer maintain its own colonial control of the region.
I could go on, but any discussion of this issue that fails to acknowledge these FACTS is obviously flawed and biased to distortion and obfuscation. I really expect better from KQED's "Forum." Yes, both sides commit violence. But it is certainly NOT equivalent. There is a difference in resistance to oppression and the infliction of that oppression.
There will be no peace in the Middle East until there is justice and security for all residents of the region--Muslim, Christian or Jewish. To me, that means a democratic, secular Palestine that provides a peaceful home to all religious groups. The apartheid style two-state bantustan (ghetto) discussed by Dennis Ross is no solution.