Letters to the Editor

It's not apartheid

Nazik Messerlian [letter Dec. 9], praising Jimmy Carter's recent fantasy, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," demands that all the "unfounded 'buts' and 'ifs' on the Palestinian question must stop." I wholeheartedly agree.

Let's begin with the pseudo-psychological diagnosis that Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is a compulsive re-enactment of the Jews' own oppression by the Nazis. The checkpoints and security fence, while frustrating to the Palestinians, are minor inconveniences when compared to being blown to bits while riding a bus or eating a pizza, the reason these safeguards were instituted. No neurosis, just a government protecting its citizens, Arab and Jew.

Apartheid state? Give me a break. Israel's Declaration of Independence swears to "uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of religion, race or sex." Israeli Arabs, both male and female, have been voting citizens since 1948 and comprise 10% of the current Knesset. Tossing the word "apartheid" around in this context is an insult to black South Africans who really understood its meaning.

Palestinian leadership has repeatedly refused to work for the peaceful establishment of a state next to Israel, preferring to accept nothing but a Judenrein Palestine from the Jordan to the sea.

Lise Rosenthal