Understanding terrorism’s causes
Dear Editor:Callously dismissing the officially documented abuse of innocent civilians, Jerome Marks (Aspen Times, July 15) echoes the rhetoric of fear consistently used to whitewash Israel’s dirty little secret. Let’s examine the logic of his arguments.First: “Israel’s policy of bulldozing homes of suspected suicide bombers.” After the Columbine School shootings, should the teen killers’ homes have been bulldozed? What if our government destroyed the home of every suspected murderer in America, effectively punishing the innocent people residing there? Imagine the cycle of violence that would set in motion.Second: “Palestinians teach their children to hate.” Obviously it doesn’t take much “teaching” to induce a child rendered homeless in a frightening display of force by Israeli bulldozers, and relegated to a life of humiliating deprivation by Israel’s policies, to avenge his family’s suffering by the only means available to him. Israel’s brutality sufficiently teaches Palestinian children to hate. By their country’s example, Israeli children also receive an education in hatred.Third: “Would Israel build the anti-suicide barrier if there were no suicide bombings?” This is like asking which came first: the chicken or the egg. Would Palestinians commit murder/suicide if the Israelis treated them with fairness and dignity?Fourth: “The Arabs want to destroy Israel.” This could well be true, but is it really plausible that Israel, possessing the most powerful military force and most destructive weapons in the Middle East, is going to succumb to total annihilation while U.S. and world leaders stand by and watch?The claim that Israel’s survival is threatened is absurd. Rather, it appears to the international community that Israel is trying to exterminate the Palestinians in a campaign of ethnic cleansing which provokes the violent revolt that provides further justification for abuse.Israel’s actions do not reflect those of a nation seeking peace with its neighbors. In fact, it looks suspiciously like a nation trying to rid itself of an entire race of people in order to become a “pure” state. Several prominent Israeli leaders have confessed in so many words: “You can’t have the ‘Jewish State of Israel’ with those pesky Muslims hanging around.”It is not the impotent Palestinian Authority, former or present, but Israel that wields absolute power over the Palestinian territories. If peace with and not conquest of Palestine is their goal, Israel must end their brutal occupation and take the magnanimous step of insuring the security, prosperity and continued existence of the Palestinian people. Only then will the cycle of violence be broken.The “black and white” of it is that when we stop trying to eliminate terrorists and focus instead on understanding and eliminating the cause of terrorism, then it will cease to exist. Let that be a lesson for America and Britain also.Regarding my neutral sounding last name, in the early 1900s my husband’s Jewish grandfather, Max Grabowsky, fled the Russian pogroms and settled in America. In the 1950s, my father-in-law changed the name to avoid anti-Semitism.Sue GrayCarbondale
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