Learn the myths and facts about Israel
Editor of the Reformer:
In response to a recent letter to the editor ("What is Anti-Semitism?" Aug. 17), I would like to suggest what I consider worthwhile reading material.
"The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities," by Simha Flapan, is an in-depth examination of the following -- according to the author -- seven myths: Zionists accepted the UN partition and planned for peace; Arabs rejected the petition and launched war; Palestinians fled voluntarily, intending reconquest; all the Arab states united to expel the Jews from Palestine; the Arab invasion made war inevitable; defenseless Israel faced destruction by the Arab Goliath; Israel has always sought peace, but no Arab leader has responded.
Flapan quotes from Israeli "founding father" David Ben-Gurion’s private writings from 1947: "We [must] adopt the system of aggressive defense; with every Arab attack we must respond with a decisive blow: the destruction of the place or the expulsion of the residents along with the seizure of the place," and "When in action we ...; must fight strongly and cruelly, letting nothing stop us."
In "Speaking the Truth: Zionism, Israel, and Occupation," edited by Michael Prior, Prior quotes an 1895 diary entry from Zionism founder Theodore Hertzl that calls for the expulsion of non-Jewish people from Palestine in order to achieve the creation of a Jewish state.
On the website www.israelrising.com, in a post from Aug. 5, 2012 ("Leader’s Ideas Never Go Away"), one can read the tenets of the Jewish terrorist group LEHI, aka, the Stern Gang. Tenet No. 2 states that the Israeli homeland stretches from the Euphrates river to the Nile river. Tenet No. 9 advocates: "Constant war against those who stand in the way of fulfilling the goals.
Ari Ben-Menashe’s memoir "Profits of War: Inside the Secret U.S.-Israeli Arms Network" is an eye-opening account of the extraordinary layers of deception that intelligence agents are able to effect in order to achieve their ends. Menashe reveals that the "Palestinian" attack on the cruise ship Achille Lauro was in fact an Israeli black operation and how Palestinians have even been suckered into unwittingly carrying out assassinations for Israel.
Certainly we all do well to keep in mind that when it comes to war, acts of terrorism, and the pronouncements of politicians and intelligence agents, with the easy invocation of national security and the accompanying easy designation of "classified," the truth is never simple and quick. Our first duty as citizens is to question everything -- especially a push toward war, unless we wish to perpetuate violence and hatred.
Our "special relationship" with militaristic and nuclear-armed Israel should be no less suspect. I have personally come to question whether we’ve been fighting proxy wars for Israel for the last 12 years and whether we’re importing our offensive surveillance and obscenely beefed-up police state from Israel.
Putney, Aug. 25
Keep the pool open
Editor of the Reformer:
I am heartened to see the recent letters about keeping the pool open later in the season. I add my voice to those who have met with the selectboard, those I’ve talked to on the streets of town, and those whose letters I’ve read.
The pool at Memorial Park is a real asset to the community, a jewel nestled at the foot of the rolling green hills behind it. My family and friends eagerly await its opening around the 3rd week of June, and experience a let-down when it closes in August (the 11th this year). The staff is wonderful; trained and skilled, friendly and helpful. The pool is well managed.
People of all ages and levels of ability are welcome to participate according to their needs. I have seen the gamut of swimmers: toddlers just learning to navigate the water, those recovering from catastrophic illnesses or joint surgery, seniors determined to stay healthy and active in their later years, as well as the long term disabled, and all those in between. I would like to see the pool used to its fullest capacity, especially now that the summers grow steadily hotter.
After all, it is already there, and paid for by our taxes.
I will speak for myself. The members of my family who use the pool regularly range in age from 5 to 75. One was born with a disability and is most relaxed when in the water. Together, we watch those hale and speedy swimmers who "burn up" the pool doing laps, in awe and amazement. The pool is truly a community resource for all.
Please reconsider your closing date next summer. I feel certain that those who love the pool would be happy with some sort of compromise, perhaps shorter hours towards the end of the season?
Brattleboro, Aug. 27