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Archive for Friday, April 26, 2002

Ironic term

April 26, 2002

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To the editor:

It is ironic that the term "anti-Semitic" is considered relevant to the Middle East conflict. Both Hebrew and Arabic are Semitic languages, so if one is anti-Semitic, technically one is against both Jews and Arabs! Anti-Semitism is rampant, with a marked rise in violence against Jews and Arabs throughout the world. It cannot be tolerated.

Many Jews, in Israel and the U.S., disagree with the settlement of the occupied territories by Jewish religious extremists (who, like all extremists, are difficult to control). The settlement issue has been handled extremely poorly by the Israeli government, resulting in hatred and violence. However, why should this be an excuse to be anti-Jewish?

There has not appeared a single leader of nonviolent resistance with the courage of a Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. or Nelson Mandela to lead the Palestinians to a peaceful solution. Leaders who sought peace, such as King Abdullah and Anwar Sadat, were assassinated. Yasser Arafat, who encourages children to martyr themselves, walked away from the best opportunity for peace that has yet been offered. From Lebanon to Kenya to New York to Jerusalem to the Philippines, Muslim extremists are demonstrating over and over again how little they value human life their own or anyone else's. Still, we can abhor these tactics without hating Arabs, Muslims, Islam or the Koran!

It would be one thing if anti-Semitic meant anti-Arab. However, we all know that to be anti-Semitic is to be anti-Jewish. In my book, the correct name for that is bigotry.

John Hoopes,

Lawrence

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