Below is the correspondence from Ms. Calista L. Blanchard, Alert Editor of Palestine Media Watch (PMW), to Mr. Jeff Jacoby regarding his controversial column which appeared in The Boston Globe on November 20, 2000.
After reading your recent editorial, I felt compelled to write to you.
What is occuring now in the Middle East and beyond is not a war with the “Jews” as you stated but rather a war with the government of Israel and Zionists. That Judaism and Jews have become the unfortunate embodiment of the former is not the fault of the Palestinians. It is because of those Jews so inclined to blindly follow and support the illegal and inhumane policies and acts of Israel that they are targets ofPalestinian anger and frustration.
Perhaps there are leaders using the term “Jews” when addressing theirfollowers. Perhaps they are using the term Zionist or Israeli. It is a play of words at this point, and I think that you must know this
already. No one is attacking the religious beliefs of the Jews. People
are fighting against the political and military actions of an occupying
I am not going to address all of your ridiculous statements. You know aswell as I do that you are deliberately writing to incite more barriers
for peace and that is a disgrace to science of Journalism.
Nevertheless, for your information, Mr. Jacoby, I include the following
1.) The fighting did not begin late in September but has been going on
since 1948 when the State of Israel was put into place. In the past 52
years, there have been countless injustices and atrocities perpetrated
by Israel against the Palestinians in an on-going effort to cleanse
Palestine of Palestinians to make room for Jewish Immigrants. The latest upsurge of violence can be attributed to the frustration, hardship and demoralization experienced and built up in Palestinians for the past 52 years. It can also be attributed to the increasing antagonistic actionsof Israel. You fail to mention in your writing the ongoing house
demolitions, land and property annexation, apartheid, failure to
restrain armed Jewish Settlers from acts of violence and destruction
against Palestinians, blatant ignorance to United Resolutions, and
military occupation of Palestinian Areas.
2.) There have been scenes of shocking barbarity committed by the Israeli too and if one was to tally up a scorecard, Israel would have more blood on her hands. But is this really the point? How can you condemn the “barbaric actions” of one person and forgive the “barbaric actions” of another? Your one sidedness in respect to this leaves one to conclude that you value Israeli life over that of any other type.
3.) Israeli officials have not been pleading for an end to the fighting.
Give me one example of a plea from any person in the Kneeset or
otherwise. The Palestinians have been pleading for an International
inquiry and protection from Israel and Israel refuses! If they truly
wanted an end to the fighting they would not refuse. If they truly
wanted an end to the fighting they would stop hiding behind the
unconditional support of the United States and take responsibility for
their actions. But in order to take responsibility they have to be
prepared to be ethical and follow the law, and it is apparent that Israel
cannot do that.
4.) Jihad means “struggle” and that is what the Palestinians face on a
day to day basis because of the occupation. Why condemn them for using their own language?
5.) There is no war against the Jews as you boldly state. However, Jewscontinue to blindly support Israel and her crimes, and as a group theyare lending their religious identity and becoming inextricably tied to the violence of the Zionists.
6.) Israel has one of the most powerful militaries in the world because
of the United States. Palestine does not have the luxury of being
supported by the United States and they do not have access to all of thenew and improved killing machines that Israel does. Why do you notreport that Israel is even testing some of their newest weapons againstthe Palestinians as of late?
7.) Israel’s textbooks for their children are very anti-Palestinian and
racist. It is possible to show you examples. Your accusation about
Palestinian textbooks is without foundation. Show an example. Israel has been part of numerous massacres against civilians and have destroyed many places of worship in Palestine since 1948. (If you want a list, I will provide it, but I think you already know this)
8.) Most important, Mr. Jacoby, stating that Palestinians are using
their children as shields is yet another attempt to dehumanize the
Palestinians. If effect you are saying, see? these Palestinians are
animals….they do not even care about their children. It is racist and
true to the policy of Zionist Propaganda. Furthermore, it is not the
point. It still does not make it morally acceptable for IDF sharpshooters to murder children. Furthermore, you forgot to add that
the IDF has taken it upon itself to change international law to decide
that a child is no longer a child at the of 12, rather than
international law statement of 18 years old.
9.) The conflict will end when the Palestinians are given their rights
back. The conflict will end when Israel abandons her dream of inhabitingall of Palestine. The conflict will end when greed and selfishness is nolonger the driving force behind the Israeli entity. The conflict will end when the world wakes up and sees beyond the propaganda.
I am sorry that you have become victim of the Zionist Philosophy. Yourwriting skills are excellent. However, it is a shame that they are beingused for something less than humanity.
Calista L. Blanchard
WITH OCCUPATION THERE CAN NEVER BE PEACE
Dear Ms. Blanchard,
Nearly everything you write is wrong; you are simply parroting
propaganda and would not be able to substantiate most of it from
credible sources. I know there is no point in debating with you, but two statements of yours prompt a response.
The fighting did not begin in 1948 with the creation of Israel, as
You suggest. It began decades earlier. Arabs in Hebron, for example,
massacred the Jews living in their midst in 1929 — not for political
reasons, but because they were encouraged by their leaders to hate Jews. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, spent much of World War II as a guest of the Nazis in Berlin. While the Jews of Palestine volunteered to fight with the allies — even though they were bitterly opposed to the British — the Arabs supported the Germans, and even expressed the hope that the Germans would teach them how to deal with the Jews as they were being dealt with in Europe.
Palestine did not belong, in terms of international law, to either
the Jews or the Arabs. After the Ottomans lost World War I, the Leagueof Nations assigned Palestine to Great Britain on the understanding that it would be used to create a national home for the Jews. (Many otherchunks of the Ottoman Empire were turned into independent Arab and Muslim states.)
Instead of doing so, Britain unilaterally lopped of 78% of Palestine in
1922 and turned it over to the Hashemite family — it became
Transjordan. It then refused to allow the remaining 22% to become a Jewish state, and instead relinquished the decision to the United Nations. The UN voted in 1947 to split the rump Palestine into a Jewish state and an(other) Arab state. The Jews agreed. The Arabs refused. When Israel proclaimed independence in its share of Palestine on May 15, 1948, six Arab armies invaded to wipe it out. They made it clear that their goal was to exterminate all the Jews. That was also the goal in 1967 and in 1973.
I am also struck by the absurdity of your phrase at the end: “With
occupation there can never be peace.”
Of course there can be peace with occupation. The United States
occupied Japan at the end of World War II; the allies occupied Germany.There has not been a warlike peep out of either one in 55 years.Moreover, the “occupied” territories were occupied from 1948 until 1967, and Nobody spoke a word about Palestinian rights. Not even Calista Blanchard. That is because the “west bank” was occupied by Jordan and the Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt. It was only when Jews fighting in self-defense became the new occupiers of those pieces of land that the world suddenly
objected to occupation. It had nothing to do with occupation, and everything to do with the ethnicity and religion of the occupiers.
Thank you for your reply. I read it and could not help but laugh.
Calista Blanchard could not possibly have spoken out against the
treatment of the Palestinians at anytime between 48 and 67 because
Calista Blanchard was not born until 67. However, there were many
Anyway, to respond to your accusation that my signature is absurd, I
can only ask you if while we were occupying Japan, were we demolishing homes, annexing land while sending American Citizens to live in the place of Japanese Citizens? Were the Allies creating large numbers of refugees and a system of apartheid in Germany? Did we or the Allies denigrate any of the occupied countries’ peoples to a lower position in their own society?
I suppose in light of your information, I should change my signature to
WITH OCCUPATION BY A GREEDY AND VIOLENT STATE INTENT ON HAVING THE OCCUPIED LAND FOR THEMSELVES, THERE CAN BE NO PEACE.
You said that nearly everything I mentioned was wrong. I wish that youwould have elaborated on that. I have not parroted anything, Mr. Jacoby.The words I write come from what I have learned by study and fromtravel. I have learned from the residents of the West Bank and I havelearned from the residents of “Israel”. I have learned from readingpro-Israeli columnists such as yourself as well as pro-palestiniancolumnists. I have learned from Palestinians themselves, those who livein Palestine now and those who were forced from their homes in 1948. If you have heard the facts that I have stated to you before, do not accuse me of parroting in order to soothe your own guilt on the matter oftruth. However, if you peer into the columns of other pro-israeli andpro-zionist writers and into some of the nauseating pro-zionistweb-pages, you shall undoubtedly see that most of what you said in your original piece is nothing more than emotive regurgitation of otherZionists and racists across the country. Emotive banter does not equalfactual data. It only incites hatred and misunderstanding. You said that Palestine did not belong to either the Jews orArabs…..but what about individual homes and villages? To whom did they belong? The Palestinians who lived in them or Zionist Immigrants?Certainly you cannot claim that Russian Jews and European Jews had more right to a Palestinian home than the family who had lived there forgenerations! And what authority did Great Britain have to lop anythingoff and promise it to anyone? There were people living on this land Mr.Jacoby. Real Live people with families and histories. There wereMuslims, Jews, and Christians living in Palestine for a long time. Inpeace. When the Zionists began putting their dream of “the zionist stateof Israel” into reality (in the 1890’s) the violence began. It began first in the hearts of those early Zionists. The only thing preventing their dream were the inhabitants of Palestine. They began much earlier than 1948 importing their henchmen into Palestine. Shall we go further back, Mr. Jacoby? Just answer for me in a straight way these questions: 1.) Do you deny that 100’s of thousands of refugees (Palestinian) werecreated in 48? 2.) Do you deny that over 500 Palestinian villages were ethnicallycleansed? 3.) Do you deny that the Zionists have perpetrated countless Massacreson the Palestinians, in and outside of Palestine? 4.) Do you think it is acceptable to shoot children? 5.) Do you think it is acceptable to ignore International Law? 6.) Do you find violence against israelis worthy of condemnation andviolence against Palestinians laudable? 7.) Is Israel occupying Palestine? 8.) Do you think it is ethical to not report the facts or to report onlyhalf the story? I do hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Calista L. Blanchard
________________________________________________ Letter of Complaint from Ms. Calista L. Blanchard to The Boston Globe
Dear Boston Globe Editor:
On November 19, 2000, I had the unpleasant experience of reading JeffJacoby’s commentary on the Middle East. As a human being, his wordssickened me. As an American his words angered me. His article cameacross as unprofessional and racist. Being a native of Boston myself, Iwas struck by his attitude in such a way that I felt compelled to write to him.
Mr. Jacoby promptly wrote back to me, dismissing my letter as being
“almost entirely wrong” and “parroting propaganda”. While I can
personally and professionally handle such idiotic criticisms, what I
cannot, in good conscious, handle his statement that “of course there
can be peace with occupation”. He superficially referred to the
“occupations” of post WWII as examples of peace co-existing occupation. Mr. Jacoby’s reasoning is very unbecoming of a person who has the responsibility of writing for a National Newspaper, a newspaper that I for one, have always respected. If one follows his logic, it could be said that there could have been peace under Hitler’s occupations throughout Europe. Furthermore, his racism and anti-Arab/anti-Arab sentiments were such that I question the Globe’s intentions and sense of journalistic integrity. I am deeply disturbed by his racism and historicalinterpretation. If he were not a “journalist”, I could chalk his sentiments up to yet another everyday roadblock to ultimate peace.
But, he is a journalist and his professional character is more than
questionable. The Boston Globe has a responsibility to its readers to
represent journalistic integrity and denounce racism. I respectfully
demand that the Boston Globe immediately do something about this matter.
I believe that Mr. Jacoby owes people of Arab descent and people of
Islamic Religious belief a public apology or forfeit his position as
commentary writer. Freedom of speech does not include the right to
incite hatred and racism among the readers. I also believe that the
Boston Globe owes it to its readers to address this article and writer
publicly, indicating that there is no excuse or apology for racist
journalism and rudeness to Boston Globe readers.
Calista L. Blanchard
WITH OCCUPATION THERE CAN NEVER BE PEACE