Thursday, August 18, 2005

Back from vacation - two letters that won't outwit you

I'm back from vacation - family reunion in California and attending the Seattle Opera's Ring Cycle. Three restorative weeks.

My first foray into the "real" world was two letters on the same theme. Will they be published or have any effect? Who knows.

To the Dallas Morning News:

RE: Gaza Settlers Defy Evacuation Deadline

Reporting on the Israeli “disengagement” from Gaza, the DMN quoted a Jewish settler “telling a soldier how her mother was forced to…flee Germany.”

The loss of home is a tragedy of proportions most of us can be grateful we will never know. That Jewish settlers in Gaza must give up their homes is tragic.

The tragedy began, however, the day the settlers moved into Gaza. Their settlements were born of the calamity of one people dispossessing another people of their property, homes, and culture.

That dispossession continues unabated even as the settlers leave homes built in a process UN Security Council Resolution 476 declared “null and void” because it has “altered the demographic character” of the Palestinian territories.

The tragic WWII-era Jewish flight from Germany and the holocaust are, by anyone’s reckoning, great failures of civilization. The continued Israeli dispossession of Palestinians’ homes is another such failure. Since September of 2000, the Israelis have destroyed over 4,100 Palestinian homes. Most have been destroyed to make way for the tragedy of more Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.

Until the world, led by the US, demands the end of the destruction of Palestinian homes and culture, tragedy will continue to breed tragedy.

Dr. Harold A. Knight
Southern Methodist University

To ABC World News Tonight without Peter Jennings:

In your coverage of the Israeli "disengagement" from Jewish settlements in Gaza, you have consistently ignored the greatest tragedy of the Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory while you have given eloquent language to the plight of the illegal Israeli settlers.

Not once in two weeks of lead-up to today's story have you mentioned the OVERRIDING fact of the situation --- which is that the United Nations Security Council in 1979 in Resolution 446 "determine[d] that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity."

Neither have you informed you viewers that Security Council Resolution 476 of 1980 "reaffirm[ed] the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967... [and that] measures which have altered the geographic, demographic and historical character and status of [the Occupied Territories] are null and void."

Both of these Resolutions are still in effect.

To offer sympathetic, even emotionally manipulative coverage of the plight of the Israeli settlers who have held Palestinian land illegally, according to the highest deliberative body of the United Nations --- which founded the State of Israel --- is to make heroes and "victims" of persons who have, in effect, been in violation of international law since 1967.

That you have never aired a story showing Israeli forces bulldozing legally owned and occupied homes of Palestinians in order to clear the way to build the Segregation Wall Israel is constructing to usurp even more Palestinian land demonstrates your bias. Over 4,100 Palestinian homes have be razed in the past five years --- a much greater number than the settlers have evacuated today --- in a process that the International Court of Justice declared illegal on July 9, 2004.

This great tragedy of human displacement and suffering goes on day after day with no reportage in any major U.S. media even as you appear to be doing your utmost to insure that the sympathies of the American people lie with the "settlers" who are being forced to leave property which is not by any legal definition theirs to begin with.


Dr. Harold A. Knight