In Aly Abul Kheir's letter of April 3  (April 1 would have been more appropriate), he accuses Mrs. Berenson of thinking "the bigger the lie, the less ludicrous it gets." He then alludes to "shipping American taxpayers' money to Israel", and trumping that lie with a quote from a September 25, 1991, Israeli newspaper article by Yigal Laviv claiming "the chiefs of the Conference of Presidents of Jewish Organizations recently approached 20 Jewish billionaires in the U.S. ... asking them to guarantee Israeli loans. All the 20... flatly refused."
First, let me say loans would indeed "ship money to Israel"; loan guarantees would not.
Next, Mr. Abul-Kheir's information came from a Washington-published, pro-Arab publication, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, not the Israeli newspaper Hadashot. At best, he is quoting something that is quoting something else.
Most importantly, the lie attributed to the Conference of Presidents was categorically denied, to wit: "Assertions made against the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs are totally without foundation. No such approach was made to businessmen, therefore no suggestion could be declined. Such approaches were never contemplated nor are they under consideration at this time.
"The Conference ... continues to support the request for refugee absorption loan guarantees now being discussed. ..." It seems Mr. Abul-Kheir's way of thinking is "the bigger the lie, the less ludicrous it gets." The trouble with lies like his --easily-checked-out ones--- make it more ludicrous.
If all the concerned parties would be more concerned with peace than denigrating their opposite numbers, the loan guarantees would pay a human dividend. Create warmth, Mr. Abul-Kheir, not friction.
Ed Krauss, Adrsley
April 15, 1992
For a rebuttal see