Wednesday, January 30, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 82



Letters to the Editor

Israelis aren't victims

To the editor:

It is evident from Lema Mousilli's article in Thursday's Daily Cougar ("Israel disobeys international laws") that
Mousilli and I agree about one thing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has "no parallels in the chronicles of
apartheid or colonialism."

Colonialism implies a desire or intention to annex territory. Israel has no desire to keep the Gaza Strip and the
West Bank and has made no pretense of wanting to.

As for apartheid, the 1 million-plus Arabs currently living as Israeli citizens are more than enough answer to that. I
will be the first to recognize that some of Israel's citizens do receive different treatment than others, as is still done,
unfortunately, here in America.

While we here in the United States strive to improve equality of life for all, Israel does the same on the other side of
the Atlantic.

Imagine for a moment waking up to find that Mexico has attacked and is trying to re-annex the State of Texas. The
analogy helps us appreciate what it is like for Israelis. Wherever you may go, a pizza shop or a dance club, there is
always the threat of a terrorist attack from people living at most a few miles away from your home.

Would we not demand the American government take action to defend our citizens? I find ironic claims made by
Mousilli that Israel is using American weapons on a "defenseless civilian population."

You might not see them on CNN, but there are armed men with Molotov cocktails and machine guns behind the
boys with rocks (try FOX News). Do the guns you see fired in funerals for terrorists and in celebrations after Sept.
11 just disappear? Those guns were actually supplied to the Palestinian Authority (PA) police forces by Israel in
an attempt to help it set up a police force to increase its autonomy (so much for colonialism).

In regards to the "unfair" portrayal of Palestinians in the media, Mousilli states "It is not they (Palestinians) who
use death squads and assassinations; it is not they who imposed collective punishment on innocent civilians." If
that was even remotely true, then how do you describe the almost daily attacks on Israeli civilians? What are they
other than, to use Mousilli's words, "collective punishments on innocent civilians?" Tell the families of the nearly
20 teenagers killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber outside a Tel Aviv disco that their children deserved that. And
as for assassinations, there is no comparison between what Israel does (killing people who are on the way to
committing acts of terror) and the deliberate assassination of democratically elected tourism minister Rehavam

Superiority of weapons and tactics do not make one party the aggressor and the weaker party the victim. The
decisive victory of the American-led forces in Afghanistan over the weaker Taliban does not negate the just nature
of the American cause.

So too, Israeli military superiority over those terrorist elements among the Palestinians supported by Mr. Arafat's
Palestinian Authority does not mean that Israel is the aggressor. Does anyone doubt that given the opportunity,
armed Palestinians would overrun Israel and massacre her citizens?

I respect Mousilli's right to have an opinion and the initiative to share it. The fact remains that only one country in
the Middle East would allow an article similarly critical of itself to be published: the only true democracy in the
Mideast, Israel.

Josh Gottesman

freshman, sociology


To the editor:

This is to thank Joshua DeLano for pointing out such an obvious misuse of the "race card" by the Democratic
Party ("Democrats often make race an issue," Opinion, Thursday). The fact that Democrats hope to use hate-crime
legislation to finger Republicans as the "white party" is enough to make my blood boil.

I have never been a fan of hate-crime legislation, for the precise reason that people should be judged for the
crimes they commit and not for their motives. DeLano exposed the truth behind hate-crime legislation, a mere
political tactic of the Democratic Party.

On the topic of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, I could not agree with him more. In my personal opinion, he is nothing
more than a money-hungry camera-hog exploiting black Americans for popularity and personal advancement.

Thank you for giving us the truth on such a controversial topic, and for praising President Bush when no one else
wants to acknowledge the job he is doing.

Joseph T. Guajardo

freshman, university studies

Letters Policy

Letters to the editor are welcome from all members of the UH community and should focus on issues, not personalities. Letters must be typed and must include the author's name, telephone number and affiliation with the University. Anonymous letters will not be published. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, language and space. Letters may be delivered in person to Room 151, Communication; e-mailed to; or faxed to (713) 743-5384.

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