MAP Member Opinion "Peace"  

Countering Goodman's Legends
by Florence Steichen
Letter to the Editor, sent to Highland Villager 1-17-05

Dear Editor,

I had not intended to reply to Max Goodman¹s response, (December 15) to my letter on Arafat (Dec. 1) until I read the December 2004 copy of THE LINK, published by Americans for Middle East Understanding. The article by James M. Wall, ³When Legend Becomes Fact,² motivated me to counter some of the legends in Goodman¹s letter.

Re Arafat¹s aim was the destruction of the Jewish State:

On November 15, 1988, Yasser Arafat, chair of the PLO, speaking on behalf of The Palestine National Council at its meeting in Algiers, declared ³the establishment of the State of Palestinian on our Palestinian Land with its capital holy Jerusalem.² The declaration included a clear recognition of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 (Al-Fajr, Jerusalem Palestinian Weekly, November 21, 1988).

By this declaration,The Palestine National Council accepted Israel¹s existence on 78% of historic Palestine. The Oslo Accords and all subsequent negotiations and agreements, have been based on the premise that Israel will retain 78% of historic Palestine, and the State of Palestine will comprise 22% of it, with East Jerusalem, not all of Jerusalem, as its capital.

Re terror:
Arafat did not invent suicide bombers; the Kamikaze pilots of World War 11 were earlier. Although "2 wrongs don¹t make a right," since Goodman writes of Palestinian terrorism, it is instructive to acknowledge Israel¹s terrorism. Both sides are guilty; there is enough blame to go around.

An excellent resource is "In the Beginning, there was Terror," by Ronald Bleier, a Jewish writer who arrived in the U. S. in 1944 with other Jewish refugees. He documents several acts of terrorism from the founding of the Jewish state. Bleier uses information from Livia Rokach: Israel¹s Sacred Terrorism. Find excerpts via a google search for "terror, Israel," which gives over 5 million entries.

Bleier¹s article in THE LINK, July-August 2003, is available online at, as is the article by James Wall. Search archives by date, author or subject.

Florence Steichen, CSJ
Highland Park

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