Dear editors:

Hate has no place here. An article on Israel-Palestine in the April issue is a political diatribe one expects from the alt-right or alt-left media, not WestView News.

I get the writer’s blog almost daily, and know that is her prejudice, and I might feel sorry for whatever happened to turn her to hate a group of people like that. But then I realize that sympathetic concessions only feed the falsehoods and strengthen the hate monster.

What is always missing from these condemnations of Israel, is the fact that from 1945 on, Israel’s neighbors including Palestinians, far outnumbering the Israelis, declared war to wipe them out, which state of war remains to this day.

She is right in one respect, “Bigotry is always accompanied by hypocrisy.” Hypocrites attack ones they hate, and ignore far worse regimes of the world.

The BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) faction isn’t just another economic boycott; it uses the language of tyrannical regimes to demonize Jews, delegitimize Israel, and divide and conquer. Do the BDS-supporters ever ask themselves, “what would you expect our country to do if some rebels fired rockets from across our borders, from Mexico, Cuba, Canada, or international waters?” Is anyone stupid enough to say we should tolerate or bargain with them?

What other nation in the world would be condemned for fighting for their survival in aggressive war after aggressive war from their neighbors, attacks from all directions, by any means that they have, including killing innocents at bus-stops and restaurants?

I don’t live in Israel, but I defend their right to exist in peace, which can only be achieved by their vigilance in self-defense.WestView News should work on principles of keeping independent from the influence of corporate and political forces.

—Brian Pape

Dear Brian,

I recall many delightful conversations I have had with Brian Pape, architect, and Architecture Editor of WestView. Architecture is a subject I love. I saw a smiling, kind, thoughtful person who said little at Contributors’ meetings, but I wanted to learn from his encyclopedic knowledge. He has served WestView’s readers well with his thoughts on the Google expansion and many other topics.

His letter here seems totally out of character, and is shocking.

For one thing, he writes as if I were a complete stranger he has never met—as if I lived in, say, Seattle, and sent out hate screeds to a hapless email list of recipients that included him.

My article is based entirely in fact—voluminously documented fact—about the hideous treatment of Palestinians by Israel. You don’t have to go there to know about this: books, news feeds, documentaries, UN Resolutions, first-person accounts, photographs. Just one instance of thousands is a picture I saw some years ago of an Israeli soldier casually smoking a cigarette as he sat next to the body of a teenage Palestinian girl he had just shot.

I am not the only one who has written about Israel for WestView; I have seen at least two excellent articles by J. Taylor Basker, who has been in Israel. Her second article is just above mine in the print edition.

I could go on at length about my years-long care for Jewish and Palestinian history and culture, but as this response already is long, I’ll leave that for another time. You’ll find some references to it in my article.

I don’t think Brian Pape has actually read my article very carefully—or the articles by reliable authors I’ve sent links of, with commentary, to that email list. They could have educated Mr. Pape. His letter shows shocking ignorance in every way, and is a hate screed because it is so falsely accusing—of me, and my many colleagues, including Palestinians, and Israeli and American Jews, who strive to get Israel to stop all of its wrongs. 

If he had really read these articles, he would have found the answer to his question about what our country would do if fired at with rockets from countries across our border. Well, if I were Israel, I’d promptly stop committing war crimes: mass murder and land theft, along with innumerable violations of Palestinian civil rights that go on by the hour. Those handmade rockets, the only weapons the Palestinians have against the state-of-the-art hardware Israel has received from the United States, would stop coming. Those rockets may not be legal, either, but they are fired in sheer desperation.

Apparently Brian Pape believes Benjamin Netanyahu is a reliable source for the history of Israel and her present situation. Brian’s arguments seem to have Netanyahu’s stamp on them, which he could have gotten directly or indirectly. Netanyahu would be reliable if he were not such an incorrigible liar who portrays the Palestinians as powerful, sinister enemies against pure, vulnerable Israel. The truth, if the mainstream press backed by Zionist leaders presented it, would make the smirking Netanyahu’s web of lies dissolve into nothing. This is why WestView has courage in printing the truth, and everyone should be grateful.

Brian could also go to the Facebook page of Adalah-NY: Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, a group I belonged to for 13 years. It has very informative video interviews with a person from Gaza, and also with Omar Barghouti, founder of the pro-Palestinian BDS movement, whose knowledge is formidable. He could win a debate with the Devil himself—or the Devil’s stand-ins, including Netanyahu and Trump. Both interviewees have irrefutable facts and figures, and are living daily with the apartheid regime of Israel.

The truth is not a hate screed or a bias. I didn’t feel consumed by hate when I wrote it. I just wanted to get the truth out. Some people get angry when confronted with what they do not want to hear. I’ve encountered it many times, but never before from someone I trusted and admired.

Brian, at one point you say you could feel sorry for me because of all the hate you think I have. You could feel sorry for your injustice to me, but more importantly, to Palestinians.

—Carol Yost

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