Criticism is not anti-Semitism


To the editor:

(re: “There really is no one more anti-Semitic than Democrats,” March 28)

“Support a peace that affirms the safety and rights of both Palestinians and Israelis.”

Who said that? The woman Alvin Gordon brands an anti-Semite, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Gordon doesn’t present any specifics for his labeling of Omar. But critics have claimed her criticism of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is anti-Jewish.

So if you claim that money from oil companies, pharmaceutical companies or anyone else unduly influences our congress people, that’s cool. But AIPAC is a sacred cow?

Now they have as much right as any other interest group to lobby and donate to politicians. Just as a group of Russians would have the right to form the American Russian Public Affairs Committee. Though I doubt that would go over as well.

But just as you would not call someone an anti-Russian bigot for criticizing Vladimir Putin or any Russian group, critics of AIPAC or the Israeli government should not be automatically branded anti-Jewish bigots.

Mainstream media coverage tends to be one-sided in favor of Israel. So if you haven’t read, for instance, Juan Cole’s May 17, 2016, Informed Comment commentary, you might not know certain facts.

In 1993, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian president Yasser Arafat agreed to the withdrawal of Israeli colonists from Palestinian land. Instead, by 2000, the number of Israelis on that land increased from approximately 116,000 to about 200,000.

Israel agreed to withdraw troops from the West Bank by 2000. It did not.

The American president who did not complain to Israel about this was Bill Clinton. Cole reports that “the Palestinians complained that they’d get an Israeli offer, reject it, then get the same one from the Americans.”

But Gordon would have us believe that Clinton has something against Jews because he did not make a scene at Aretha Franklin’s funeral when he was seated a couple of people away from Louis Farrahkan.

There’s so many things Clinton has done wrong, but not willing to act like the brattiest elementary school boy and say, “I won’t sit near him, na na na na na,” is not one of them.

Also, for those who think Arafat turned down a “generous” offer for a Palestinian state in 2000, check out the Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting analysis. And since the mainstream media would have you believe that all the aggression comes from Palestinians, check out CounterPunch’s reporting.

My previous letters on our policies toward Latin America already provide perspective concerning immigration attempts from our southern border. But if one reads CounterPunch publisher Jeffrey St. Clair’s account of Nelson Espinal’s plight, you’ll get another example.

Espinal fled Honduras to escape threats on his life for refusing to join a gang. He crossed the border into Arizona. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent him back to Honduras, where he was killed.

So unlike what President Donald Trump and Gordon would have us believe, the real emergencies are the ones these immigrants are fleeing from.

Richard Warren

Richard Warren,