Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians

H. Lee Wind's recent letter confuses "biased reporting" with the printing of facts that one might not like. Did the Nakba happen? Most historians who don't have an ideological ax to grind admit the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948. Try Zochrot , a Israeli organization dedicated to making this history better know.

There hasn't been a half century of catastrophe for the Palestinian people since the Nakba? Millions living in refuge camps in the largest and most concentrated ghetto in the world? Child hunger figures that approach starvation? Constant attacks by tanks, bulldozers and helicopter gunships? Amnesty International recently stated that over half of the more than 650 Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers in 2006 were civilians, 120 of them children and young people under 18. I don't know H. Lee Wind's definition of a catastrophe for an entire people. Must it become an actual genocide?

And calling the reporting of Palestinian suffering a "decidedly unilateral and simple-minded approach" sounds like obfuscation and political spin. Plenty of people referred to Jewish suffering before the Second World War as too complex and complicated to become involved with. Once the war started, trying to stop the genocide became "disruptive" to the war effort and was never actively pursued by Allied Forces. What will Americans be saying when eventually confronted with the fact that their tax dollars (over 3 billion a year) supported this kind of racism in occupied Palestine?

Are there two morally acceptable points of view in an impending genocide? The Jewish and the German? The Tutsi and the Hutu, the Armenian and the Turkish? The Palestinian and the Israeli? Only in H. Lee Wand's imagination.

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