I HOPE you will give me the opportunity to reply to Mr. Lee's letter in Sunday's edition.
Since reading recent letters in this debate I've been trying to avoid using the word rant but I find it very difficult when trying to understand Mr. Lee. I shall not stoop to trade personal insults with him, though it warms my heart to know he is concerned about my mental state. I would like to draw attention however, to a couple of points he makes. In deriding Arafat and his lot as mass murderers he conveniently omits the details of Israel's own terrorists, who went on to find statehood and respectability. May I refer him to Mr. Richard Parker's excellent letter in today's (22 July) paper for some informative facts about the reality of the issue and Israel's own checkered past. Also, when he mentions Israel giving the Palestinian's Gaza, I assume he means giving the Palestinians back Gaza? To accuse me of having tunnel vision and in the same breath to condone the systematic destruction of Lebanon takes chutzpah indeed, even for an Israeli apologist.
BOTH Richard Parker and Graham Phillips have chosen to recall terrorists during the past sixty years or so, Mr Parker especially cites the atrocities in Palestine by the Stern gang and Irgun, in the early 1940s, which were undoubtedly caused by a very small minority of Jews, NOT endorsed by the then leadership.
One cannot excuse these violent acts, but one must put them into context with the prevailing atmosphere. The Second World War had just ended, with survivors of The Holocaust (during which, some six million Jews had been foully murdered) desperate to get to Palestine, - The National Home promised by Britain (who still held the Mandate). The then Labour Government, with Attlee as Prime Minister had, as Foreign Minister, Ernest Bevin, who though not exactly an antisemite, was certainly Pro-Arab and it was his policy of restriction and prohibition of immigration that infuriated the thousands trying to settle in Palestine, leading to those acts described above, following the harrowing scenes of leaky old ships crowded with refugees, being refused admittance. Read Exodus. It is also relevant to mention that in 1941 a Jewish Brigade was formed to fight alongside The Allies. Where Mr Parker has dug up the preposterous story of a small Zionist organisation as he puts it negotiating with German diplomats in Beirut for a military/political alliance with wartime Germany I cannot imagine. It is patently untrue. May I give further evidence of the truth. I mentioned The Jewish Brigade above. At the outbreak of the War, some 85'000 men and 54'000 women volunteered for service and many fought with distinction under the command of a Brigadier Kisch, who sadly died in action in Italy with many of his compatriots. Mr Parker also talks of the Evian Conference to which, he says, the world Zionist Organisation refused to attend. He may be interested to learn that at The Round Table Conference in London, 1939, it was THE ARABS who refused to sit down with the Jews.
Finally, Mr Parker and Mr Phillips may be interested in the fact that the British managed to recruit just 9'000 Arabs from Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Transjordan (later Jordan), half of whom subsequently deserted.
Nova Santa Ponsa
Your letters to the editor correspondent Graham Phillips must be writing from Mars!.
He states that President Clinton, inherited a huge national debt built up over previous years, eliminated it. This is news to the Statistical Abstract of the United States. It places the National Debt at $4'001.8 million in 1992 and at $5'628.7 million in 2000. It rose every single year. So much for being in the black. His statement that Bush was appointed in 2000 is simply spiteful ignorance of the American electoral system. Evidently he thinks that the Florida Supreme Court, consisting entirely of Democrat appointees, should have been allowed to hijack the election after the responsible state official certified the result. At no point in the entire unseemly proceedings was Gore ahead in the count. All the US Supreme Court did was to tell the Florida Supreme Court that no more finagling would be allowed. He further states that, Begin was the most wanted terrorist on the British list, but when the dust settled, he became the first prime minister of Israel. The first PM of Israel was David Ben Gurion. Give him credit though for getting the first part right. Look it up if you doubt me.
The exchange in the last week has been painful to read. No adults seem to have been participating. Particularly laughable was Mr. Scott's risibly bizarre accusation that the evil Tom DeLay gerrymandered Hispanics out of Congressional representation. The exact opposite is true. The Latino population in Texas is concentrated in the Southwest corner of Texas which has 7 seats. Though Latinos are only 58% of the population in that area they hold six of the seven seats (86%). Some depravation! What occurred was that the Texas legislature, of which Mr. DeLay is not a member, replaced a court draw district lines that perpetuated a 1991 gerrymander that favored Democrats with lines that favoured Republicans. The Constitution gives the power to redistrict to state legislators not the courts. The state election of 2002 in Texas was fought almost exclusively on this issue.
The people spoke after Mr. DeLay as a party leader took the issue To the Urns. They retained the GOP in the governors' office and the State Senate. For the first time in over 100 years the people gave the House of Representatives of Texas to the Republicans. That broke the impasse that necessitated a temporary court intervention. Mr. Scott appears to think that democracy is court rigged elections for his side. Under the court lines a majority of Texas voters (Republicans 58%) had a minority of the Congressional seats, 15 out of 32. This injustice has been redressed by a map that gives a majority of representation to the majority of the voters. Most folks consider this sort of thing fair.
Anyway, history class is over for the day.
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