If the shoe fits … | AspenTimes.com

If the shoe fits …

Dear Editor:

To Nina Hawn Zale and other defenders of Israeli occupation: Don’t you thinks it’s odd that you use racism so often to defend a state created largely in response to racism?

Ms. Zale asks Sue Gray: “Why haven’t the neighboring Arab states extended a benevolent hand and offered them (the Palestinians) a piece of the desert?” I want to offer a challenge to Ms. Zale: Can she give any reason why she and others who believe Palestinians should just go live in some other Arab nation are different from southern bigots who yelled “Go back to Africa!” to African-Americans during the civil rights era? It would be interesting if she could give a real reply to this challenge – but she can’t and won’t, because there is none.

Her bigotry is underscored further by her flippant use of quotation marks around the word “Palestinians” – a cute way of saying that Palestinians don’t have a claim to their own land because they didn’t belong to a cohesive nation-state at the time of their ethnic cleansing. That excuse could be used, without any changes at all, to justify colonial slaughter in North America and Africa, since the indigenous populations in those places were organized mostly in tribes and not in nations. Basically, the Palestinians didn’t achieve a high enough level of civilization to merit the right to live on their own land; they are merely scattered tribal debris to be swept away by the winds of progress.

Ms. Zale says that Sue Gray should go to the Arab world to experience first-hand the corruption and repression that is the norm there (most of it funded by American tax dollars and sometimes maintained with Israeli cooperation, as with Egypt) to give her criticisms of Israel credibility. As far as I can tell, Sue Gray isn’t offering excuses for oppressive Arab regimes and is only criticizing Israeli crimes. Those are separate issues.

On the other hand, Ms. Zale is offering excuses for the occupying Israeli regime. So if she had any intellectual rigor or moral integrity at all, she would go to the occupied territories to experience first hand the oppression that she actually is defending. That would cleanse her suggestion to Sue Gray of outright hypocrisy, at least. But that experience would most certainly cause shame, and that’s clearly an emotion that Ms. Zale is either uncomfortable or unfamiliar with.

Instead of telling Sue Gray to go to the Arab world before she stands up for basic justice and human rights, maybe Ms. Zale should go the West Bank and Gaza before spreading racist garbage in a newspaper. I mean, why do you people say this kind of stuff in public, where other people can read it? It’s very bizarre to me.

Fred Bernard


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