Thursday, February 23, 2012

NYTimes Facilitates Misleading Historical Narrative

Yesterday, the New York Times carried an op-ed by an Arab activist seeking to dislodge Jews from their homes and weaken the security of the state of Israel.

I had sent in a letter but it wasn't published. As usual.

Here it is:-

In his op-ed ("Peaceful protest can free Palestine", Feb. 22), Mustafa Barghouthi opens with a statement that "over the past 64 years, Palestinians have tried armed struggle". That is incorrect.

Following several months of protests in late 1919 and early 1920, including one on February 27 which involved lifting the United States Consul-General Otis Allan Glazebrook up on to the shoulders of the demonstrators, and incited by a religious preacher, Haj Amin El-Husseini, the soon-to-be "Grand Mufti of Palestine", Arabs fell upon their Jewish neighbors between April 4 -7, 1920, killing 5 and injuring 200 - all civilians casualties. Indeed, the entire history of the past 92 years has been marked by Arab terror, pogroms, riots and murder directed almost exclusively at Jewish civilians by Arabs, in Hebron, Safed, Jaffa and many other locations where Jews resided. Ethnic cleansing from some cities resulted, all prior to the 1948 war.

If there is a "struggle", it is one for the truth and the genuine historical narrative.

And here are the ones that did get published:-

Hurdles That Block an Israeli-Palestinian Peace

To the Editor:

Re “Peaceful Protest Can Free Palestine” (Op-Ed, Feb. 22):

Mustafa Barghouthi, a member of the Palestinian Parliament, writes that “over the past 64 years, Palestinians have tried armed struggle; we have tried negotiations; and we have tried peace conferences.”

Mr. Barghouthi conveniently doesn’t mention one option: accepting Israeli offers to evacuate the West Bank and make peace.

In 2000, Ehud Barak, the Israeli prime minister, offered to return 96 percent of the territories and to divide Jerusalem. In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered to leave lands equivalent to 100 percent of the West Bank and again to divide Jerusalem.

On both occasions, Palestinian leaders not only refused to accept those offers, but also refused to make counterproposals and initiated violence (the second intifada, increased Hamas rocket fire from Gaza) that poisoned the atmosphere for continued negotiations.

A narrative of relentless Palestinian victimization may be emotionally satisfying, but ignores certain well-known events.

Ann Arbor, Mich.


To the Editor:

Over the last 64 years, Mustafa Barghouthi writes, Palestinians have been engaged in struggle with nothing to show for it. Do the math. Sixty-four years ago was not 1967, when Israel won control of the West Bank and Gaza from Jordan and Egypt; 64 years ago was 1948, when Israel became an independent state.

So while Mr. Barghouthi rails against post-1967 occupation and settlements, he cannot free himself from the view that Israel itself, from the day of its foundation, should never have been. This is the mind-set that makes an Israeli-Palestinian peace so elusive.



To the Editor:

Thank you for publishing Mustafa Barghouthi’s eloquent article addressing the hunger strike of Khader Adnan and summarizing clearly the plight of Palestinians. Mr. Adnan, as well as countless other Palestinians, is indeed a hero, and the hope for justice and peace in Palestine-Israel.


Mrs. Neunuebel, an involved Christian, seems to be active in pro-Pal causes via Creativity for Peace and even wrote glowingly of Chas Freeman, that notorious anti-Semite.  Mindless, is what comes to my mind.



And the following day, this letter appeared:

To the Editor:

In “Peaceful Protest Can Free Palestine” (Op-Ed, Feb. 22), Mustafa Barghouthi does not mention that Israel has been trying for a long time to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

It is quite disappointing to see that the Palestinians continue to seek ways to confront Israel through boycotts and protests, rather than choose a path of collaboration to find a true and lasting peace between neighbors.

Only if we use the language of peace and dialogue will we be able to create an atmosphere of trust. While the Palestinians have tried terrorism, and subsequently attended peace conferences, they have not uttered the single most important word: yes.

The Palestinian Authority has yet to say yes to Israel, yes to peace and yes to living side by side with the Jewish state. Israel’s outstretched arms extend until the day the Palestinians say, Yes, we are ready to join our neighbor Israel in taking the difficult step toward peace.

Organizing people to protest is much easier than organizing people to make compromises for peace, a compromise that both sides must make.

Spokesman Consulate General of Israel, New York

P.S. Typical that independent activists responded quicker than the Foreign Ministry folk.


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