In defense of Mayfield<and Palestinians
Last week you published a letter attacking Rich Mayfield1s mild but factual and thoughtful editorial of March 16. But the writer did not respond to Mayfield1s specific point about the many and often petty ways in which Israelis have, over many years, persecuted, intimidated, humiliated and de-humanized innocent Palestinians. Nor does the writer respond to the broader point of Israeli terrorism, which he brushed off in a single three-word phrase, but the rest of his letter is more of a one-sided diatribe than Mayfield1s writing.European news media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts gives the rest of the world a much clearer and much different view of the issues and actions than we in the U.S.A. get from our media. Israel, which may wish to claim some sort of moral high ground, is rapidly eroding any basis for such a claim by its indiscriminate use of excessive force, its deliberate infliction of collateral damage on innocent bystanders, its persistent persecution and oppression of the Palestinians whose homeland Israel has occupied, many of whose homes Israel has destroyed, whose livelihood Israel has cut off, and many of those whose lives Israel has taken (many more Palestinians have been killed by Israel than Israelis by Palestinians).It is this violence by Israel against Palestinians, using our political and financial support ($3 billion/year), and using U.S.-supplied weapons, that is one of the major sources of the anti-U.S. anger expressed in 9/11. Our continued one-sided approach to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle only increases and prolongs the problem.One would wish that a Palestinian Gandhi-like non-violent resistance would work. But we cannot wait for that. Both Israel and the PLO are to blame, and so very nearly equally that there is no point arguing about who is more to blame: both are to blame. Indeed, we in the U.S. are not without blame.For us to fail to recognize and act upon the need for both Israel and the Palestinians to stop the violence and to achieve a settlement allowing both to be safe, secure and viable<politically, socially and economically<does so at the peril of U.S. citizens.Edwin S. TownsleyBreckenridge
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