Whose facts? | AspenTimes.com

Whose facts?

Dear Editor:Sue Gray admonishes me to do “… proper research … with verifiable sources” concerning the Middle East (The Aspen Times, Aug. 1).She asserts that the Israeli Defense Forces demolished 12,000 homes in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. What are her sources?Her main source is a left-wing organization, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (the ICAHD). Click on the Internet links offered on the ICAHD website and you will see a rather large list of organizations – some Israeli, some Jewish but not Israeli, some Palestinian, and some not Palestinian but nevertheless Arab. Their common mission: To replace housing for those involved directly or indirectly in terrorist acts against civilians in Israel (without once delving into the sources that provide this terrorism); to provide fodder for the media campaign to malign the state of Israel; to advance the concept that they know better than the elected officials of Israel how to conduct negotiations between the parties in conflict.One source is Al-Ahram Weekly. This Cairo-based publication of an Egyptian daily newspaper actively supports several bizarre contentions: The conspiracy theory that the Mossad (Israel’s secret service) and the CIA were responsible for the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington; the viciously anti-Semitic “blood libel” (that Jews bake cakes with the blood of Muslim and Christian children as the secret ingredient); the validity of the 19th century forgery known as the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (a fictional work – produced by the Czar’s agents to promote anti-Semitism in Russia – that asserts that Jews conspire to dominate the world). Other sources cited on the ICAHD website were aggressive in “confirming” (with breathless and hysterical condemnations) the death and mayhem caused by Israel’s massacre of Palestinians in Jenin in March 2002… a massacre that according to the UN’s own investigation never occurred. While we await the rescission of these false allegations, they remain tainted sources … but, nevertheless, are acceptable to Gray.One of the website’s sources got it right – at least this factoid. It is absolutely true that Israel demolished 300 Arab homes in Jerusalem. Unmentioned – but also true – is that thousands – yes, thousands – of Arab homes have been built in Jerusalem since the “occupation” of 1967. Unmentioned – but also true – is that the Arab rate of construction in Jerusalem is greater than that of the Jews. These 300 homes, along with quite a number of Jewish-built homes, were demolished because they did not have building permits, violated right of way areas, caused a public hazard by their incursion on public roadways, were illegally hooked up to power and sewage services, and so forth. This is how a law-abiding government deals with those who violate the law – regardless of their religious persuasion.Incidentally, Sue, this is exactly what Pitkin County allegedly did to Wilk Wilkerson on the top of Smuggler Mountain!Sue, your facts are selective and biased, your sources suspect. One thing that is not suspect is your animus toward Jews and the Jewish state of Israel. David KudishChicago