I write as an American Jew to respond to Tziopra Rimon's statement in the 6/7/01 edition, and, in particular, the penultimate paragraph, in which it is stated that, "The fuel that feeds the flames of the hatred that leads to such horrific violence is not the presence of Israeli settlers on the West Bank."
As I read this statement, Gush Shalom, and Israeli-Jewish peace group, issued a press release, dated June 6, saying the following:
"This morning, dozens of Israeli settlers entered two villages in the Nablus district of the West Bank, both of which are under complete Israeli security control. An investigation conducted by B'Tselem reveals that settlers entered the villages of Luban a-Sharqiya and A-Sawiya, the latter under curfew, and burned agricultural fields, a hothouse, a carpentry and a school. In addition, the settlers shot at residents of Luban. They also broke windows of houses in a-Sawiya while the residents were trapped in their homes under curfew. Israeli security forces present during the entire incident, prevented Palestinians from defending themselves, prevented fire fighters and ambulances from entering the villages, and even took part in the violence themselves."
Will the readers of the Chicago Tribune be informed of this fanatical Jewish pogrom against these two Palestinians villages? Or will The Big Lie, told by the Israeli government, so well and so often, continue to be believed?
If Tziopra Rimon really believes that the Jewish-only settlements, built on illegally occupied land, are not a problem, then we might as well throw out international law and the Geneva Convention, which they clearly violate. And we should waive the flags of ethnic cleansing and pogroms with glee, and dance with joy on the scorched and bloody ground they leave behind.