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Letters to the Daily Californian

Some people have sent me letters they had sent to the Daily Cal in response to published letters to the editor that contained false information on Israel-Palestine and that attacked If Americans Knew and me personally. (See more details here.)

A few were written before the Daily Cal refused to publish my own letter in response to the personal attacks against me, and some were written afterward to object to the Daily Cal's deeply unethical conduct.

These excellent letters contain important factual information and thoughtful analysis. It's a shame that the Daily Cal so far hasn't printed any of them, since they would help to inform the newspaper's readers on a critically important topic that is at the center of events affecting all Americans and millions of people in the Middlle East. They also discuss core principles of journalistic ethics, surely an important and relevant discussion.

Please read these and tell others of this situation.

Daily Californian Editors:

I am more than shocked, I am, frankly, angry, at your apparent refusal to publish a letter by Alison Weir that not only responds to a personal attack on her but distorts the truth about the origins of the 1967 Six-Day war, one of the most significant events of the 20th century which was initiated by Israel in the early morning hours of June 5, of that year, by bombing Egypt's airfields and virtually wiping out its air force. It's a fact easily checked.

As a student of the Middle East and as someone who has been a journalist for many years, cutting my newsprint teeth at the UCLA Daily Bruin, and who is more than familiar with the standards of professional journalism I find your decision indefensible. When someone is attacked in print . that person is entitled to respond in the same publication. It is as simple is that. Your decision, however, is consistent with a campaign initiated by the Zionist Organization of America, on the extreme right of the Jewish organizational spectrum, to use Title VI, a law designed to protect minorities against discrimination, to stifle legitimate criticism of the state of Israel and its crimes against the Palestinians on college campuses by defining it as anti-Semitism. Those who declare the truth and those who speak it to be anti-Semitic and try to silence them, as does the ZOA, are only courting trouble. Is that the sort of company you wish to keep?

Jeffrey Blankfort
UCLA l957

To the Editor

In the letters of May 21-27 Thyme S. Siegel and Vladimir Kaplan falsely state that in 1967 Israel was attacked by all its neighbors. Maybe the writers are too young to remember that Israel was the first to attack when they bombed the Egyptian Air Force as their planes sat wing to wing on the tarmac. As Egypt was the object of aggression, Arab countries with which Egypt had treaties were bound to come to their aid.

At the end of six days Israel held not only the West Bank and Gaza but the Golan Heights which they have annexed in violation of international law. Today, as represented on the last map, much of the West Bank is covered with Jewish-only settlements dividing the territory into smaller and smaller enclaves of Palestinians. Each and every settlement built in these Occupied Territories is also in violation of international law.

The writers take issue with some of the facts in the ad. There is no doubt that at the start of the Zionist project less than 5% of the population of Palestine was Jewish. As more and more Jews came into Palestine, pressure was put on European powers to divide up the land.  With justification the Palestinian Arabs felt that they did not want to give up the land on which they had lived for centuries. It has been well documented that while a number of Palestinians fled in fear of the fighting a larger number were ethnically cleansed, a fact that Israeli historians Ilan Pappe and Benny Morris have documented.

It would do well Siegel and Kaplan to do some research.

 - Jan Bauman, D
Daily Cal, 1951-1952

To the Editor of the Daily Californian:
The ad depicting the reality of Israeli theft of Palestinian Lands with accurate maps has generated 2 letters by Thyme S. Siegel and Vladimir Kaplan. The two writers engage in ad hominem attacks with charges of “anti-Semitism”, “lie”, “fabrication”, “manipulation” and even “destructive venom” then proceed to propagate myths that have long been discredited.  Perhaps the writers are confused and not aware that Israel itself called its attacks on Arab states in 1967 preemptive.  Preemptive means you attack first.   Perhaps they swallowed the fiction of Israeli victory through a “miracle”.  Perhaps they are not aware that several Israeli leaders admitted Israel’s premeditated attack.  The late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, said,  "In June l967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him." (New York Times, August 21, 1982.)  General Mattityahu Peled, a member of the Israel General Staff during the 1967 attack said: "To pretend that the Egyptian forces massed on our frontiers were in a position to threaten the existence of Israel constitutes an insult not only to the intelligence of anyone capable of analysing this sort of situation, but above all an insult to the Zahal [Israeli army]." [Ha'aretz, 19 March 1972.‚Ä®]
The maps in the ad should not surprise anyone familiar with the  tragedy in Palestine.  Similar maps are  in Israeli government issued textbooks. A similar version is published by the authoritative Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD.org.)   I advise letter writers to examine the facts and educate themselves. 
Margaret Fouda,


To the Editor:

Lest any reader be tempted to believe the hysterical, hateful and highly incorrect rant by Thyme Siegel, I suggest they read a reputable book to get the facts, such as The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine written by the renowned Israeli historian Ilan Pappe.

Iran supplied bombs used by Gaza? What nonsense! We all know that it was Israel that dropped bombs on Gaza during the 2008-2009 assault, killing 1,400 people, of whom 300 were children. The illegal weapons used by Israel, such as the phosphorous that burned children to death, were paid for by us - the US tax payer.

Jane Jewell, San Rafael

My response to the letter "Ad illustrates essence of Anti-Semitism, lies by Mr Kaplan":

The cry of “anti-Semitism”, when used to silence anyone who dares to criticise Israel, completely upstages the story of the little boy who kept crying “wolf”. I thought it had been knocked on the head a couple of years ago at UC Berkeley, during the divestment campaign against the Israeli Occupation, when one of the leaders of Jewish Voice for Peace pointed out that there were more Jewish supporters of the divestment campaign in the room than Jews opposing it. 

While the movement for justice for Palestine is made up of people from all walks of life, it contains a disproportionate number of Jews who are speaking out against Israeli Apartheid and taking the lead in bringing justice for Palestinians. To name just a few:

Ilan Pappe, Israeli author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine;

Jeff Halper, founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions;

Bekah Wolf, founder of the Palestine Solidarity Project;

Anna Baltzer, Jewish American author of Witness in Palestine;

and Rae Abileah, founder of Young Jewish and Proud, who speaks out against the Israeli government’s policies at every opportunity.

Yet supporters of the Apartheid State of Israel continue to try to play the ‘anti-Semite card’, despite the fact that its effectiveness in suppressing those speaking out for justice ended a long time ago, and it’s continued use is getting more and more comical.

 - Jane Jewell

Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 11:54AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

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