To the Editors: In response to Steven Franklin
by Joel Finkel

Sent to the Chicago Tribune on June 9, 2001.

To the Editor,

Mr.  Franklin, in his report from Jerusalem, informs us (6/9/01 p 4) of a "lull in the violence for the past few days..." and writes briefly, giving few details, of an Israeli settler who was shot.

I am a third-generation American Jew, reading your paper.  Had I no other source of information of the situation in the Occupied territories, I would not know that, in fact, there has been no "lull in the violence." In fact, the situation gets worse each day.  Worse, that is, if you are a Palestinian.

A major crackdown at Birzeit University on June 5 prevented students and staff from opening and attending school.  The Israeli military charged at students with their jeeps.

On June 5, fanatical Jewish settlers undertook pogroms against the Palestinian villages of Luban a-Sharqiya and A-Sawiya, burning fields and buildings, smashing windows, and firing into the homes of the terrorized people.  The Israeli military not only prevented the people from defending themselves, but stopped ambulances and fire trucks from entering, and took part in the violence themselves.

If I, a simple Jew in Chicago, can learn the truth, so can the Chicago Tribune.  It perplexes me why you choose not to.  Why do you choose to studiously ignore the misery of an entire people who have been brutalized every day by a military occupation that is now 34 years old?  Why do you choose to ignore the fact that 100 people, Jews and Arabs, gathered in Chicago yesterday, in a dignified, silent vigil to call for an end to this atrocity?

Why to you continue to misinform us with such statements as, "despite a lull in the violence," when exactly the opposite is happening?  Is it because you simply do not care about the lives of Palestinians?  I am writing to inform you that there are many people who do care, and many of us are Jewish, and our voices will be heard.