Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Bootlicking Israel

A recent spate of extremely pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian Guest Opinions in the Arizona Daily Star prompted me to complain of a lack of balance to the Reader Ombudsman, the Opinion Editor, and the Managing Editor. Choosing only extreme views for presentation the public, including innumerable lies, mischaracterizations, and concious ommissions, is unhealthy. I urge others to write to letters@azstarnet.com, jkiser@azstarnet.com, amari@azstarnet.com, and bjbuel@azstarnet.com regarding their lop-sided editorial choices regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

The Star’s editors have expressed even-handed positions on Israeli policies in the past, but the writers chosen for guest opinions, such as Clifford May and Rabbi Cohon, seem to belie the Star’s impartiality on the subject. Uncritical apologists for the failures of Israel’s leaders are just as misleading as hate-filled anti-Semites who can see no wrong in the actions of Palestinian leaders.

Both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have legitimacy. Suggesting one side is completely at fault, while the other remains blameless, only perpetuates the conflict. The opinion page should expose readers to diverse and challenging views. The Star is falling far short of that goal on this important issue.

I’ve had my fill of facile claims of moral superiority and dubious historical justifications regarding this conflict. I have found such tactics are characteristic of ideologues who do not want peace, Why not publish commentary on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by people who genuinely desire peace, instead? Let’s hear from those focused on a solution, not on demonizing or canonizing one side or the other. Perhaps representatives from Peace Now!, Gush-Shalom, or Tikkun could provide viewpoints which instruct, rather than polarize, for a change.


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