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An Opposing Viewpoint

The Jews did it. They're responsible for the bird flu epidemic, the Duke lacrosse team rape, and high gas prices. Those are ridiculous charges, but they're no more ridiculous than the ones made by Viewpoint columnist Charley Reese in the Memphis Flyer (April 20th issue).

According to Reese and some obscure French ambassador, the Jews are a (expletive deleted) country that just wants to stir up trouble. If staying alive and trying to prevent your race from being exterminated is causing trouble, then I guess they deserve that distinction. Maybe they should pack up their bags and leave their homeland or just roll over and die. Would that make Reese happy? Because that is exactly what will happen if they do nothing or listen to idiots like him. The remarks Reese makes are anti-Semitic, and anti-Semitism is a form of racial hatred that assigns blame to a particular group, not based on what they have done but on who they are.

It's not enough that they have been hunted down like animals for over 2,000 years. And it's not enough that they are surrounded by foaming-at-the-mouth, radicalized Muslims who would gladly wipe them off the face of the earth. But it's worse that we in the United States would abandon our longtime ally in order to keep them from causing trouble with their attempts to preserve their lives and property. They have a legal claim to the land that is thousands of years old. There were no Palestinian people within Israel as far back as their claim goes.

Israelis, in order to keep the peace, went along with the U.N. partition of Israel in 1948 and were willing to live in peace with their neighbors. But the Muslims wanted all the land, and they attacked them and lost, not once but three times. Each time, Israel's boundaries were spread farther eastward, northward, and southward to provide sufficient protection. But now the Europeans, the U.N., and the Arabs want to steal it in the political arena. Columnists like Reese would just hand it over to these unsavory types uncontested.

I have no doubt that Israel is able to protect itself without help from the U.S. And the reason for that is their divine protector. God, who watches over them, does not slumber. Hitler learned his lesson the hard way. Is that the way Charley Reese wants to learn his? Joe M. Spitzer Memphis

Did it ever occur to Charley Reese that the reason for America's alliance with Israel might be because it is the only democracy in the Middle East and a strategic ally? Many Arab countries want to eliminate Israel. Every war Israel has fought against the Arabs has been in self-defense. The reason Arab countries have not declared all-out war with Israel in recent years has been the deterrent effect of Israel's nuclear capability.

Elaine Gordon

Memphis

I am not surprised that the Flyer has printed an opinion piece that is completely out there in left field somewhere. Your weekly survives and has carved its niche with such fare.

There are several reasons why the Reese opinion piece is outrageous. First, Reese twists historical fact to make himself appear to be authoritative. Second, Reese uses many liberal code words to define his position (e.g., neocons, Israeli lobby, Euro-centrists). Reese wants to benefit from democracy and democratic freedoms of speech, so his answer is to kick the Israeli lobby out of the country and support Iran? Why would the Flyer publish a piece that is hateful and demeaning to peaceful, law-abiding citizens in the Memphis community? Would you print such a hateful article toward African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Catholics, or Scientologists? If you endorse kicking out the Israeli lobby, do Jews in general become the next "roach in the salad"?

It is clear that Reese has never gotten over hanging chads, Downing Street memos, and the cornucopia of discontent liberals foster against the Bush administration. It is oddly strange that Israel, the only established democracy in the Middle East, is the evil culprit orchestrating United States foreign policy. Opinions are the right of everyone in the United States. However, when bigotry, hatred, and distorted truth are given elevated value as fact by an established newspaper, only anarchy that threatens our rights can ensue.Brad MagdovitzMemphis

Editor's note: The articles published in the Viewpoint column have always offered a variety of opinions and do not necessarily reflect the Flyer's editorial stance on any particular issue. For an opposing view, see this week's Viewpoint on page 19.

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