In the Jan. 28 feedback section of The Spectrum, the supposed "let's not hate" letter by Adam Fosbury only sidesteps the issues and makes it sound like the situation in Israel and Palestine is going to improve if we simply pray for peace. While I agree with Minara Uddin's point, her conclusion is idealistic.
Eric Bokobza's Jan. 26 letter and its narrow-minded portrayal of Palestinians isn't something new and shocking. He repeats what some Israelis know and hold as truth from what was fed to them by the Jerusalem Post and Israeli Defense Forces propaganda.
As an indication that "hate speech" is becoming more commonplace, take the Israeli army Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon's interview (Ha'aretz, Aug. 30, 2002) where he compares Palestinians to cancer and that he was "applying chemotherapy" in Gaza and the West Bank.
Or take Baruch Marzel, a right-wing activist, who unveiled his new political party on Jan. 11. The platform of the new party, called the Jewish National Front, includes the transfer of Arab communities to new locations, east of the Jordan River (Ha'aretz, Jan. 11). These are some of the viewpoints towards Palestinians that are becoming more accepted by the Israeli public.
Shying away from arguments only creates an information void where images of blown up buses and dead Israelis, along with the lack of coverage of Palestinian daily life and land annexation by settlements, shapes Israeli public opinion against Palestinians. The public needs to understand these arguments while there's a medium where they can be debated and disproved with facts. Instead of hearing propaganda retold as truth until there is no one left to listen, or care, what the other side has to say.
Speaking of facts, Bokobza's letter wrongly states that a majority of Palestinians support "terror attacks against Israel even if Israel left the west bank and Gaza," straight out of the Jerusalem Post. If one does an online search for the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, October 2003 Poll Number 9, one will find that there is little contained in the survey that points toward a vindictive desire to destroy Israel. Actually, according to the poll, "23 percent want all Palestine back to the Palestinians," showing that most Palestinians desire to live in solidarity.
Otherwise, the considerable number of deaths of innocent civilians from the cyclic effect of the escalation of violence either direct or indirectly, can be prevented by Israel by stopping its annexation of Palestinian territory.