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Actually, Palestinians and Palestine Are Real

Posted 6/25/2008

Chaim Ben Pesach seems to be singing from the songbook that if one defends Palestinians or attacks Israel's treatment of Palestinians, then one is an anti-Semite ("For the Last Time, We Do Not Eat Babies," The Mail, June 18). The argument he tries to make ignoring the existence of Palestinians is worthy of a Holocaust denier. This blather coming from Pesach is of the same mentality that brought us on the other side the Protocols of the Elders of Zion: pure nonsense and fabricated history.

Mr. Pesach has failed to read David Ben-Gurion's later diaries and other early Zionists' plans for compulsory "transfer" of Palestinians to land outside their homes. Today we call this involuntary movement of a designated people "ethnic cleansing."

To disregard the Palestinians as a people even contradicts Ben-Gurion's view. As he stated in one of his diary entries in 1936:

The Arabs fear of our power is intensifying, [Arabs] see exactly the opposite of what we see. It doesn't matter whether or not their view is correct. . . . They see [Jewish] immigration on a giant scale. . . . they see the Jews fortify themselves economically. . . . They see the best lands passing into our hands. They see England identify with Zionism. . . . [Arabs are] fighting dispossession. . . . The fear is not of losing the land, but of losing homeland of the Arab people, which others want to turn it into the homeland of the Jewish people. There is a fundamental conflict. We and they want the same thing: We both want Palestine. . . . By our very presence and progress here, [we] have matured the [Arab] movement.

According to Ghada Karmi's book Married to Another Man: Israel's Dilemma in Palestine, at the end of the 19th century a group of rabbis from Europe was sent to Palestine to look for a place of refuge for European Jews. The message sent back to Vienna was, "The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man." Clearly, the early Zionists knew that the proposed homeland was already inhabited by a people of very long history. The first intifada of 1936 gave us a clear picture that the Arabs were beginning to unify in Palestine. It was the Arab High Committee, the Arab political organization under British imperial rule in Palestine, that organized the rebellion and served as the genesis of a political Palestinian identity.

It is people like Mr. Pesach and his adherents who control the dialogue on the Israel-Palestine issue. One can see that any American politician who even suggests talking with Israel's enemies is immediately vilified and branded anti-Semitic by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a political kiss of death. No wonder Barack Obama did a 180, talking about the plight of Palestinians before running for president, and now genuflecting before the all-powerful AIPAC and its extortionist henchmen.

Finally, my grandparents' shtetl was destroyed by the Nazis. Mr. Pesach's argument would have you believe that it never existed, as no Arab villages destroyed by the Israelis and replaced by Jewish immigrants ever existed.

Myles Hoenig

Barack Obama Not the President for Black or White

After reading Brian Morton's column, I am like, What new day? (Political Animal, June 11) I am still trying to analyze what white America needs with a man (Barack Obama) who comes from a race of people who don't know how to utilize the free-enterprise system for their own welfare. Black America earns more money than the gross national product of Canada or Australia. They have college degrees. However, they still depend on white America for almost everything they desire or need. If such a person cannot rule his own people, who have what it takes to be self-reliant but can't, how can he govern white Americans who can show him how the free-enterprise system works for them? Moreover, I predict a loss for Obama in the general election.

Leo A. Williams

Deacon Bleh

Your article trying to tie in Dan Deacon's popularity with the demolition of an artists' space in Providence, R.I., was one of the most oblique pieces of journalism I have ever read ("Arresting Development," Arts & Entertainment, June 11).

I think it is ultimately a very shitty thing that the author of this piece seems to relish the fact that most of the 900 people who showed up to a Dan Deacon show were "voyeurs." So, does that in fact make the die-hard Dan Deacon fan part of some secret society? God forbid that a locally based artist brings people to a club show.

It seems that the author is mad because his band didn't get to play a Wham City show because too many people came and a police issue arose from it. Now, he is on a rant on how too many people are now actually going out and supporting local music, whatever it may be. How does that compare with a building that was knocked down in New England?

Chris Plummer

Three, Maybe Four more Copies Sold

Felicia Pride wrote a genuinely good article about author Ta-Nehisi Coates and his new memoir The Beautiful Struggle ("Manning Up," Feature, June 4).

I have not read the book, but I plan to read it in the immediate future. I am the mother of a black, college-educated son (a schoolteacher) and a black grandson (who plans to go to Howard University), and I will encourage them both to read Coates' memoir. My granddaughters--ages 9 and 10--will also be encouraged to read The Beautiful Struggle, because young girls are being incarcerated at an alarming rate in Baltimore. (Kill the black women and you kill the genetic black seed that makes a black people.)

As I see it, it is a miracle that young black men living in Baltimore can shed their anger for a period of time to accomplish a desired goal of simplifying living from one day to the next without being dead. It is a miracle that any black man driving a car (or a passenger in a car) or walking along any street in Baltimore will not be killed, harmed, or lied about because of the color of their complexion.

I am proud that Ta-Nehisi Coates has not hidden the fact that his father, Paul Coates, is an ex-Black Panther. Many older black brothers and sisters of the Black Panther movement have made valuable contributions to America's society for the betterment of all Americans. Thank you, Paul Coates.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a black man writing and living without running scared from "the man." In the book Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison writes, "To Whom It May Concern: Keep the Nigger-Boy Running." Is that a graduation-day piece of wisdom or what? Free the mind.

Larnell Custis Butler

Correction: Chase Brexton Health Services is celebrating 30 years of health care, not 40, as mistakenly stated in the subheadline to last week's feature on the clinic ("Lifeline," Feature, June 18).

In "With Impunity," our feature on Jose Morales Jr. (June 11), we mistakenly reported that his father, Jose Morales Sr. is an unlicensed heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning contractor. In fact, Morales Sr. is a licensed HVAC contractor, though he is not licensed with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission, as was correctly stated in the story.

City Paper regrets the errors.

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