Reader Mail: Biased Articles, Not Jewish Activists, Ruin Mideast Peace

The Forever War

Stop the apartheid: It is heartbreaking what Miami Beach millionaire Irving Mosko­witz is doing to the peace process in the Middle East ("Home Invasion," Terrence McCoy, March 28). The story about how he literally invaded Khaled Hamdallah's house with new settlers is sickening. Israel needs to stop its apartheid and listen to the demands of the international community (the United Nations, European Union, and United States have all demanded it stop its illegal settlements) before it gets more and more isolated. Miami Resident

Blame Arab hate: Moskowitz is not even close to being the reason for the "unrest" in the Middle East, but biased articles like this one that spread lies and use words like apartheid are. You are being used by Palestinian propaganda to spread the hate that Arabs in general (not only Palestinians) have institutionalized against the Jewish people and against the Jewish state. A two-state solution will be possible the day Arabs stop fueling hate through the Palestinians and accept the right to exist of the Jewish people and their historical and legal right to their land. Israeli Jews are prepared to share the land for the sake of real peace. Once the real "apartheid" enforcers become educated enough and reasonable enough to realize that other people with other religions, colors, and lifestyles have the right to exist, peace will be possible, for it is in reach. Ilana Krauss

Historically wrong: McCoy's piece is so wrought with factual and historical errors that I could take up this entire page by enumerating them. Instead, I will focus on just the two most blatant ones: First, Mr. McCoy repeatedly refers to "Palestine." I do not know what planet McCoy lives on, but on Planet Earth, there is no such state or country called "Palestine," nor has there ever been a state or country called "Palestine." "Palestine" is a geographical reference with no ethnic distinction. In fact, during the times of the British Mandate of Palestine, all Jews who had passports were referenced as "Palestinian" on those passports. The first public reference of the "Palestinian people" (read: Arabs) was in the UN Yearbook of 1959. The term Palestinian was not even commonly used among the Arabs themselves till the 1970s.

Second, I find most egregious the following assertion on the part of Mr. McCoy: "But Moskowitz was only getting started. In 1996, when peace talks were at a delicate stage, he funded a tunnel under the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem, spurring bloody riots that killed 60 Palestinians and 15 Israelis." McCoy is apparently referring to the Hasmonean Tunnel incident. McCoy has fallen for the same anti-Israel manipulation of the media in 1996 that I scrutinize in my book, Clinton Versus Israel: How the Clinton State Department Instigated Anti-Israel Bias in the Media, except that McCoy has even less of an excuse because the Hasmonean Tunnel incident is now almost 20 years past and ample research is available to document the following: (1) Moskowitz did not fund a tunnel; the Hasmonean Tunnel has its name because it was built by the Jews 2,200 years ago under the Hasmonean Dynasty. (2) Contrary to the blood libels that Yasser Arafat spread at the time, the Hasmonean Tunnel has absolutely nothing to do with the Dome of the Rock or Al Aqsa Mosque or any other sensitive site in the Muslim Quarter. The vast majority of the tunnel in fact always lay within the Jewish Quarter. (3) There was no new tunnel dug; essentially all the project required was opening a new entrance in the northern wall to the Via Dolorosa, which is holy to Christians, not Muslims. (4) Saying the building of a tunnel spurred bloody riots is like saying a woman's short skirt spurs a sexual assault. Israel had every right to open a northern entrance to the Hasmonean Tunnel; the Palestinian Arabs had no right to murder Jewish civilians in response to that opening. Dave Crystal, Miami Beach

(Editor's note: New Times stands by its story. The United Nations recognizes Palestine and granted it nonmember observer state status in November. Moskowitz's funding of the Hasmonean Tunnel has been cited in more than a dozen news and academic reports. In 1996, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the settler group Ateret Cohanim, which received millions of dollars from Moskowitz, managed the tunnel's day-to-day operations.)

Reality Bites

Light on facts: Uncle Luke, why don't you use numbers to support your argument that reality crime show The First 48 hurts tourism and development in Miami's historically black neighborhoods ("Unreal TV," Luther Campbell, March 28)? It's easy to defeat the propaganda machine if you expose the facts. Just make a simple side-by-side comparison of crime statistics, and let that pretend family from the Midwest decide which neighborhoods to visit by looking at those numbers. It's a no-brainer, right? Exiliado


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