Letter: Political issues must be fact checked

Editor of the Reformer:

Lauren Perlstein ("Not my homeland," May 3): You are a librarian and you say you don't see Israel on any map before 1948? If you look a little closer you will see the Hebrew names for 146 Arab localities inside Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Hebrew, not Arabic. This from Lee Bender, Hebrew Origins of Palestinian Arab Towns in Judea-Samaria: Bethlehem "House of Bread"in Hebrew. Hebron is the Hebrew word for friend. In Hebron is the Cave of Machpelah, purchased by Abraham over three thousand years ago. It is here that Judaism's Patriarchs and three of its Matriarchs are buried. The Palestinian Arab city, Nablus is derived from the Greek, Neopolis, but is also called by its biblical name, Shechem. Jenin is derived from Ein Ganim, Silwan was Shiloach, Selum was Shilo (one of the first capitals of ancient Israel), etc. You won't see the West Bank prior to 1948 because it was always called Judea and Samaria. Judea, meaning the land of the Jewish tribe of Judah.

Concerning the name Palestine: In 70AD, after torching the kingdom of Israel to the ground, the Romans renamed the region "Palestinia" after the ancient Philistines, a seafaring people from the Greek islands who were enemies of the Israelites. Palestine and Israel mean the same thing. There was never a country or a kingdom called Palestine. The region has been part of the Ottoman empire for 400 years and inhabited by a diverse population of Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others. All are Palestinians.

One more fact. There were Nazi death camps in Tunisia during WWII. The Arab world cooperated with the Nazis by confiscating the lands and properties of 800,000 Jews living in Arab countries. Fully one half of Jews living in Israel today arrived speaking the Arabic language. The plan was to let them gather in Israel and from there finish the Final Solution. Five Arab armies attacked the Jewish refugees inside Israel in 1948, intending to finish the work of Hitler. You can read all about this plan masterminded by Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem with Adolf Hitler. There are videos and photos of this famous alliance.

Charismatic teachers who wish to impose their political agendas on students depend on their students' lack of initiative to do their own fact checking. As a school librarian I would hope you encourage your students to develop critical thinking skills and to fact check all controversial political issues.

Marjorie Pivar,

Brattleboro, May 10


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