In Response to an Op-Ed Piece by Uri Dromi
by Joel Finkel

Sent to the Chicago Tribune on February 2, 2021 in response to an op-ed piece by Uri Dromi.

Uri Dromi's piece, "Predicting the Next Middle East episode on terrorism (2/2/01 p. 15), presents his own history of Palestinian terrorism.  To do so without a concomitant history of Zionist terrorism, and without placing current events within a current context, is intellectually dishonest.  At the very least, it leaves the reader ill informed.

No one who takes a serious look at history can deny that Zionists such as Menachem Begin and his Irgun Z'vai Leumi were the original Middle East terrorists.  Have we forgotten that they blew up a wing of the King David Hotel in 1946 as an act of terrorism against the British?  Ninety people, including Jews, Arabs, and British, were killed.

Shall we deny that on Friday, April 9, 1948, the Irgun, again under Begin's command, along with the Stern Gang, attacked the peaceful village of Deir Yassin, dynamiting homes and murdering hundreds of men, women and children?  Twenty-five villagers were captured, paraded through the streets of Jerusalem, and then taken to a stone quarry and shot.

Shall we hide from these and countless other massacres?  Shall we shrink from our moral responsibility to remember?

The current context can only be described as one that is unendurable for the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories.  Their homes fired upon by Israeli helicopters, their olive trees uprooted, their farmlands confiscated, the roads among their villages barricaded or wiped out, their water shut off, their children dying from illnesses because they are prevented from going to hospitals: one atrocity after another.

Does this excuse the atrocity that Dromi describes?  Certainly not.  But it does make us pause and wonder just how much death and destruction, humiliation and oppression, a people is required to endure.