Friday, June 13, 2008

Brace yourself

On May 23, 2008, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette printed the following provocative letter about the anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel:

Anniversary also tragic

While Israel celebrates its 60 th birthday and American leaders glad-hand it with childish glee, I lament the almost complete refusal by American media and government to acknowledge the tragedy that is synonymous with Israel's creation. For Palestinians, this is the 60th birthday of Al Nakba (the catastrophe). Sixty years ago, over three-quarters of a million Palestinians were forcibly and permanently removed from their homes. Over 500 Palestinian villages were destroyed, depopulated or occupied by the victorious Israelis.

Of course, mainstream American media and no doubt [your] Editorial page would rather wallow in journalistic complicity than dare to acknowledge the systematic dehumanization of an entire population by America's favorite European colony. All the while good Zionist Christians give the infallible state of Israel a pat on the back whilst "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets dangle callously upon their wrists. Now Israel celebrates its sham democracy by continuously appropriating Palestinian land and resources for Jewish settlers. Farms in the West Bank are either confiscated for Jews or destroyed to deter an Arab family's viability on the land. Israel continues to construct the unimaginably huge separation wall, built upon and cutting deep into Palestinian land. This wall will no doubt demarcate the area's new geographic reality when Israel unilaterally declares its final borders. Finally, thousands of Palestinian civilians (spare me your "human shield" drivel) have died at the hands of bloodthirsty Israeli and Christian Falangist soldiers. Here's to 60 years of getting away with murder.


Now I think Meredith Oakley, the editor of the Voices page, is a sharp cookie with her heart in the right place. So I'd like to think that she chose to print the following for the purpose of reminding us that shockingly hateful people like the letter-writer exist among us -- and not because the paper carries its hands-off letters-to-the-editor policy to ridiculous extremes.

With that said, it's ...

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Letter Of The Week!

From the June 13, 2008 final edition:

Soldiers are prepared

In a previous letter, Amjad Saleh Faur expressed his disgust with “bloodthirsty” Israeli and Christian Falangist soldiers while he lamented so-called Palestinian victims. Hold onto your head wrap, camel jockey.

I will not waste time exposing the distortions that I believe saturated Faur’s hate-filled diatribe against the free world. . . . What is an American-hating terrorist sympathizer doing in Arkansas? Does he have something planned?

If he wants to kill Americans, he is free to join his comrades in Iraq. But there’s something he should understand. Our soldiers in Iraq are not unarmed civilians sitting unexpectedly at their desks. They are armed, ready and willing. So, Mr. Faur, what are you waiting for? Quit complaining and go join the killing.



Eric B. said...

I'm honestly a little surprised that the Democrat-Gazette published the first letter, though I've never really been in the habit of reading their letters to the editor. However, I can't remember a single time when I lived in Arkansas that I was asked to question the complicated history of Israel's founding and the continuing conflict. Over the past few years I did begin to understand that the Palestinians weren't getting a fair shake, but it wasn't until I met someone from an Arab (Christian) background whom has an understanding of the region's history that I really saw how shallow my, and many other Americans, understanding of the Arab/Israeli conflict was/is.

Jenn said...

I know the writer of the first letter (a great guy with a sound knowledge of the issues he discusses)--and am disgusted with the so-called arguments in the second. What makes people think that they can label and lump people all into one group and that it somehow make a sound argument on a thorny issue? I guess he better stick the "American-hating terrorist sympathizer" tag on me too if it means hating people who feel that calling someone a "camel jockey" is ever acceptable.