Labels appeal to prejudice
Dear Editor:I missed Ms. Sue Gray’s first letter that outraged Mr. Epstein: “Completely anti-Semitic,” The Aspen Times, July 5.Whatever Ms. Gray said, Mr. Epstein’s use of labels “anti-Semitic” and “bigot” do nothing to shed light on the merit of her statements. Labeling a person is an easy way to accuse, judge and convict her without a hearing or evidence. Labeling appeals to prejudice, which is exactly what Mr. Epstein is deploring.Mr. Epstein accuses Ms. Gray of “being blind to the real facts of the situation.” He then goes on to say that “Israel has acquired the ‘territories’ (his quotation marks) in a series of defensive wars.” He omitted the modifying word “occupied.” Israel is an occupier of the West Bank and of Gaza. Israel was victorious in the wars, but according to international law, she must not settle the occupied land with her citizens, and she must withdraw from the occupied territory. The U.N. and the U.S. have passed resolutions and made requests to this effect, with no results. The word “acquired” implies claiming the land.Palestinians fear with reason, it seems to me, that Israel wants to “acquire,” as Mr. Epstein says, all of Eretz Israel – which means all of Palestine. The multiplication of Israeli settlements within the West Bank in the face of U.N., international and U.S. condemnations seems to point to permanent conquest.As to the two stories that Mr. David Bluefield (“A couple of stories about the Middle East,” Aspen Times, July 7) wrote for “Ms. Sue Gray’s benefit and education,” they are merely fables created by Israelis to bolster their own view of “history.” They are great stories, but let’s stay with facts and respectful discussion.Peter LarroweEl Jebel
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