Letter: ‘All sides’ weren’t represented
‘All sides’ weren’t represented
It seems whenever I try to defend one group of people, I offend another group. In this case, I apologize to all those informed and compassionate people of good conscience who might have been offended by my broad generalization of American Jews in my last letter. Of course not all American Jews have been kept in the dark about Israel’s human-rights violations, and some Jewish leaders do broach the topic with their congregations. There are many Jewish advocates for Palestinian freedom across America and right here in our valley, just not many who write letters to the editor.
The impression one gets from the majority of Aspen’s pro-Israel letter-writers is exactly as I described in my last letter. It appears they have fallen prey to a calculated effort to publicly defend Israel by demonizing Palestinians (along with the human-rights activists who work to liberate Palestine from Israeli military occupation). This is fairly evident from their letters alone, but let me add some more evidence gleaned from the pages of The Aspen Times during and after Israel’s attack on Gaza last summer.
In August, a certain Aspen Jewish organization hosted Clifford May, president of the pro-Israel front group Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who spoke about the “threat from jihadist regimes” (code for Hamas).
Members of the same organization also hosted a presentation of “The J-Street Challenge,” a propaganda film designed to discredit J-Street, an American Jewish peace organization that supports the creation of a Palestinian state.
The film announcement in The Aspen Times didn’t say that, of course. It was carefully worded to appear as a neutral discussion of “events in the Middle East” presented by an organization that “strives to increase understanding of issues by getting people to listen to all sides,” even though the object of the film is to get viewers to dismiss J-Street’s side altogether.
The timing of these sponsored events with the slaughter of thousands of people in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces reinforced my belief that the organization’s actual agenda was to give the Aspen community justifications (however false) for feeling that Palestinians deserve to die and have their homes and infrastructure utterly destroyed because they elected a Hamas government. The events also served to give letter-writers snippets of pro-Israel propaganda to include in their responses to the letters of human-rights proponents.
But if I am wrong, and the aforementioned Aspen Jewish organization really does want its members and the public to hear “all sides” of the Middle East conflict, I will be happy to give them the presentation I developed for high school classes, which gives the history of the Middle East conflict from both the Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. I welcome and look forward to their invitation to perform this public-education service in Aspen very soon.
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Vote for Kimbo Brown-Schirato for council. She’s the right choice at the right time for Aspen. She listens, works extremely well with others, and she’s effective.