183. Writer distorts facts on Middle East

Our right to free speech implies the responsibility to respect truth. A just and lasting peace can only be built on a foundation of truth.

In a letter of Aug. 1 [182], Faris Khader proclaims that “in 1967, the number of Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem was zero.” In fact, in 1948 an Arab attack drove out those Jews who lived in the parts of Jerusalem that they captured. Not only were the Jewish inhabitants not allowed to remain there, they were not allowed to enter to worship at their holy places and visit their cemeteries. The holy places were desecrated and the tombstones of the Jewish cemeteries were use to pave the latrines of the conquering Arab armies.

To claim that there should be reason for Jews not to be there today is like killing your mother and asking for mercy because you are an orphan! As for being “settlers,” a look at any atlas will confirm that in the 19th century, the majority of the population of Jerusalem was Jewish.

Let us not rewrite history, but look to the future and learn ways to live together in the Middle East as we do here in Westchester.

August 20, Miriam Klein Shapiro, White Plains

For a rebuttal see 184