I am writing in response to The Chronicle's Oct. 30 staff editorial "The wrong path to peace," regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There were so many offensive and completely inaccurate statements made in the editorial that I am forced to conclude that the staff is not only extremely ill-informed with regards to conflict but that they simply lifted many of Sen. Joe Lieberman's similarly insulting remarks from his speech on campus Oct. 29. In the interest of simplicity, I will focus on only one of the editorial's many statements of incredible inaccuracy.
The editorial claimed that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's comparison of recently increased U.S. support for a Palestinian state to the West's appeasement of Hitler in 1938 when it conceded areas of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis "may have been a fair one." This is absolutely absurd, and no responsible journalist has dared claim that Sharon's analogy contained one bit of validity. The transparent disparities between the two examples are obvious to anyone who went through high school history.
In World War II, the Nazis were the obvious aggressors, occupying a foreign land illegally. In present-day Israel and occupied Palestine, it is Israel that is the aggressor, illegally occupying Palestinian territories for the past 34 years. To make the crucially important point that the paper's editors failed to, the Israeli military's mere presence--and this doesn't even have to include the endless atrocities it has committed while remaining there, as just in the last year over 700 Palestinians have been killed--in the occupied Palestinian territories since 1967 is illegal under international law established by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.
I am glad the paper's editors take an interest in the incredibly important Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, I hope that before voicing their opinion in an editorial designed to appear objective, they will do just a little research and distinguish between clear myths and realities with regards to the conflict. Perhaps until they can do that, it would be wise to remain focused on local issues that they find easier to grasp.
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