Dear editor:

Michael Miner’s recent column on “The Tribe Takes on the Trib” [Hot Type, November 16] was probably educational for some people about how Jewish Zionist organizations work to suppress expression in the media of anything other than knee-jerk support for Israel (as in the Sun-Times, owned by the same company which controls the Jerusalem Post). It’s not enough for these organizations that media such as the Tribune are pro-Israel in their spin 85 percent of the time–any analysis beyond the most superficial is dangerous to those who seek to maintain the Alice in Wonderland worldview of American Zionism. Beyond comparisons of how many headlines and stories depict the cruelty of the Israeli military occupation as opposed to the acts and words of Palestinian suicide bombers, what all this coverage lacks (as usual) is a comprehensive telling of what led to this state of affairs.

Instead of portraying the Palestinian national movement as totally intransigent and bent on the destruction of Israel, media such as the Tribune could do a great service for the American public by showing (through maps, diagrams, etc) how the much-touted Barak “peace plan” actually divided the West Bank into several small enclaves or cantons, with overall control remaining in the hands of Israeli settlements connected by a dense network of access roads and East Jerusalem kept under Israeli sovereignty. A proper historical treatment of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would start with the early European Zionist colonization of Turkish-controlled Palestine in the late 19th century, the Balfour Declaration, and forced implantation of the Zionist-settler infrastructure under British authority from 1920 through World War II, culminating in the U.S.-sponsored establishment of the Jewish state through terrorism and ethnic cleansing in 1948.

It was the refusal of the Palestinians to accept the ethnic cleansing of 1948 which led to the 1967 war and Israeli conquest of the rest of Palestine. Today, an end to the more than four decades of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is the absolute minimum condition for any conceivable Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement (which must include fair treatment for the Palestinian refugees of 1948). The fact that the Israeli state and their zealots in the U.S. can’t countenance genuine Palestinian independence in the remaining 20 percent of historic Palestine is a sad testimonial, both to their own intransigence and the unwillingness of the U.S. political establishment and mass media to challenge this far-reaching and baleful lobby.

David L. Williams

Reference Librarian & Middle East History Bibliographer