Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sickened by Richard Cohen

To the Ombudsman,

This is a copy of the email that I just sent to Richard Cohen in regard to his racist article supporting Israel's right to destroy another country. Unfortunately, in my email, I neglected to point out his racism and his call for the destruction of anyone who might oppose Israel. This reminds me of Hitler's destruction of Lidice and the Hitlerian view that for every dead German, 100 Jews should die. Articles such as this have no place in the Post. -- JB

As a Jew I am sickened by your diatribe as I am sickened and angered by Israel's destruction of a nation and its infrastructure. I am old enough to remember the establishment of the State of Israel, which I once wholeheartedly supported. I supported it even after a member of my former husband's family , a native of Los Angeles, told me proudly how he joined the Haganah and, in early 1948, participated in the ethnic cleansing of an Arab village. He spoke of how the hapless Arabs left their pots on the stove and their shoes by the door as they fled for their lives into Lebanon. Their village, now cleansed of its Arab residents, became a kibbutz, originally designed to be only for American Jews. I don't know whether or not my brother-in- law killed anyone. I just didn't want to know.

My love affair with Israel came to an abrupt halt after the Six Day War, even as I worried about my Israeli family. I began to learn about the dispossession of close to 750,000 people from their lands and homes so that there could be a Jewish state. I learned that while I could "return" to a land where I had never set foot, those who were pushed out, could not. In fact, for most of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian Arabs, there was no home to which they could return. Within a few months after the establishment of the State, the new government began a systematic destruction of well over 400 Palestinian villages while pushing the majority of those Arabs who did not flee into the poorer areas of the state. Now you might say, as do so many apologists for Israel, that the Arabs could have had their own state had they accepted partition in 1947. To my mind, there is no doubt that Israel would have made a grab for that land. David Ben Gurion said as much when in the late 1930s he stated that the Jews would accept partition but when they became strong, as the result of becoming a state, they would expand to all the area. Even earlier, in 1919, Chaim Weizmann, in a letter to British PM David Lloyd George wrote: "We consider it essential that the Northern frontier of Palestine should include the Valley of the Litani, for a distance of about 25 miles above the bend, and the Western and Southern slopes of Mt. Hermon, to ensure control of the headwaters of the Litani.

Forty-six years later, on March 18, 1965 Israel bombed the irrigation works on the Litani River. It was the first of many times that Israeli bombs rained on Lebanon. With this action, the Israeli government made clear to the Lebanese government that any exploitation of the Litani for agricultural purposes was not going to be tolerated.

This unprovoked war crime against Lebanon was followed a few years later when on December 28, 1968, the Israeli Air Force bombed Beirut International Airport, destroying thirteen commercial Lebanese Boeing 707s. As a result of this crime which embarrassed Washington which had just sold jet fighters to Israel, French President Charles de Gaulle embargoed arms sales to Israel.

Mr. Cohen, you lament the fact that anti-Semitism is spreading around the world and so do I. But I place the blame directly on Israel's actions against the Palestinians, the theft of their lands and water and their many attacks on Lebanon. Israel and the defenders of the atrocities that the Jewish state is perpetrating have a lot of chulzpah when it comes to accusing people of anti-Semitism when they oppose Israel's war crimes. It is rather like the child who kills his parents and calls for mercy because he is an orphan.

I will end with an incident that occurred shortly after the start of Sharon's war against Lebanon the began in June, 1982. This was a war in which the "moral" Israeli army, just as they are doing today, deliberately destroyed villages, hospitals, water treatment plants, civilian homes, schools and people fleeing from Israeli terror.

There was a lot of consternation in the Bay Area where I live and the San Francisco Jewish Community Center hosted a debate between then MK Ehud Olmert and a member of Peace Now. After the meeting I walked up to Mr. Olmert and told him that what Israel was doing could very well bring anti-Semitism to our Jewish community here. With the coldest eyes I have ever seen, he looked at me and said, "I don't give a damn about your Jewish community." And I know that he didn't - except, of course, for people like you who cover for Israel's crimes and/or be part of the Israeli lobby.


JB

Mill Valley, CA

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