Research the Mideast | AspenTimes.com

Research the Mideast

Dear Editor:I caution those who write in defense of Israel to do the proper research and back up your statements with verifiable sources. Leading the Aspen Times readership astray with false information does nothing to support your cause and can induce accusations of either ignorance or deliberate deception.A case in point is the portion of David Kudish’s letter (Aspen Times July, 23) concerning house demolitions by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in which he insists they are carried out only on families of “known” but not “suspected ” suicide bombers. Since 1967 Israel has demolished almost 12,000 homes, turning 70,000 Palestinians into refugees. Obviously these were not all homes of known suicide bombers.According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, http://www.icahd.org, the IDF carries out three types of house demolitions. Those labeled “punitive,” are intended to punish relatives of Palestinians who carried out or are suspected of involvement in attacks against Israeli citizens, and actually account for the smallest number of house demolitions.Those deemed “clearing operations for security needs” take place around Jewish settlements and Israeli army posts, and along roads used by Jewish settlers and the IDF. “Administrative demolitions of houses built without a permit” take place in East Jerusalem and in portions of the West Bank, where Israel wields authority over planning and building.In light of previous misinformation and lacking any source references, one might suspect the validity of the “facts” in Kudish’s letter on aid to Israel in Friday’s Times. But one thing he’s right about: American taxpayers are primary funders of Israeli military actions against its own Muslim population and those of neighboring countries. How beneficial that might be to us is questionable, considering support of Israel is cited by terrorists as the main reason for hatred of the United States.In all fairness, it is really our media corporations that are at fault for American ignorance. Instead of a full and balanced report on the situation, our news is censored across the board, giving an erroneous picture of events in the region. Many Americans have become the victims of this media propaganda which is what fuels much of these heated disagreements about Israel.For example, in 2004 The New York Times reported on Israeli children’s deaths at a rate 7.5 times greater than Palestinian children’s deaths. Even NPR reported Israeli children’s deaths almost 4.5 times more than Palestinian children’s deaths. From these reports one would think the death toll for Israeli children was greater than that of Palestinian children. In reality, since September 2000,122 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 686 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis, the majority by a gunshot to the head (from “The Coverage and Non-Coverage of Israel-Palestine,” http://www.ameu.org).Because of the disparity in U.S. reports about the Middle East conflict, it’s important that those interested in learning the truth do their own research. A website that gives a good overview of the situation is http://www.ifamericansknew.orgSue GrayCarbondale

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