Thursday, January 21, 2010

Complaint:: Why Be Concerned If There's No Blood

A transparent distinction
Published: Friday, January 15, 2010 11:49 PM CST

A recent Tribune letter (“Double standard or anti-Semitism,” Dec. 11) finally said it as it is: “It is striking that two (Tribune) letter writers have published more than 50 letters during the past few years exclusively devoted to criticizing, besmirching and delegitimizing Israel ... (They) obsessively focus on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict ... Singling out the only Jewish state for criticism and condemnation is at best an extreme case of double standard; at worst, a case of the new anti-Semitism.”

Not a month went by and one of these letterwriters struck again (“The strange case of Berlanty Assam,” Dec. 31.) That writer chose to ignore many terrible atrocities taking place around the world: Suicide bombings in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq where every month dozens, sometimes hundreds of Muslims are killed by other Muslims, the ongoing atrocities in Somalia and Darfur and the catastrophic plight of refugees in those countries, the clamping down by the ruthless Iranian regime of demonstrators longing for democracy in their totalitarian country ruled by a dangerous madman, etc.

Why ignore all this spilled blood and a host of outrageous human rights violations in many countries to inform us of a Palestinian student unable to complete her university degree on time? The answer is obvious.

All the truly horrible cases do not involve Jews; the mild, albeit unfortunate, case of the Palestinian student does. This distinction becomes all the more transparent when her letter employs explicit anti-Semitic motifs, e.g. “There is a ‘family’ of Washington leaders who encourage Congress to issue declarations of support for Israel … These men consider themselves ‘chosen’ by God ... Since they, like Israel, are ‘chosen’...”

How sad that in the enlightened city of Ames, in the 21st century, a few individuals still uphold anti-Semitic views, directing them occasionally toward Jews and incessantly toward the Jewish state.

B.C. Kaufman

West Des Moines


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