Letters to the Editor: March 2007

To the Editor,

When we start being afraid of little old ladies, we know our civilization is certainly doomed. At Chicago’s Ohare Airport recently, we watched the following scene.

An elderly woman, arriving in a wheel chair at airport security, for a domestic flight,  was forced to get out of the chair without a cane, to balance precariously on shaky legs, arms spread wide, while a female guard ran a metal detector yup and down her body and then frisked her for weapons.

She was asked to take her sweater off, without help, something she clearly found very difficult. A witness commented wryly, “If we are afraid of old ladies like this we are doomed.”

The guards seemed unfazed. “We’re just following procedure,” one replied. “It’s the rules. We have to follow them.”

I couldn’t help wondering, isn’t this why we fought WWII, to bring an end to this kind of unreflective dehumanizing acts? To the imposing of rules uncritically on those with no power to resist? This kind of behavior is surely the antecedent to fascism. I exploded.

“Thank God we still have elections,” I said, “so we can vote you all out of power.”

Samuel  R. Schubert



To the Editor,
There has been much criticism of President Jimmy Carter’s recent book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, including a suggestion in an editorial in my hometown paper the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he should make clear that blowing up children on buses is never justifiable.

As a Jewish American who has visited Israel and the Occupied Territories 14 times since the 1980s, I can say that this statement is certainly correct. Terrorism against innocent, civilian targets is indefensible.

Neither is it justifiable for soldiers to shoot Palestinian children on their way to school, or those taking part in peaceful demonstrations against the Wall, which is robbing them of their property and land.
Nor can one forgive a general (Israeli Chief of Staff Dan Halutz) who drops bombs on civilian targets in Gaza, and then proudly says that he felt nothing except a slight bump on the wing.

As for President Carter’s book, it needs no one to advocate for it. He has been to the Occupied Territories and knows what he is writing about. He is an honest man and certainly not an anti-Semite.
Carter was the President who gave Israel its most important peace treaty, the peace treaty with Egypt, signed in Camp David by Begin and Sadat.

Why is it that Israelis themselves are writing about Israeli apartheid and U.S. media is defending it?

Paula Abrams-Hourani


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