MAP Member Opinion "Peace"  

Correction To Correction: Israel Is A Terrorist Group
by Florence Steichen
published in THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT, weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, 9-25-03

Letter to the Editor

You were right the first time with the headline “Terrorist group strikes again” to accompany a picture in the September 11 Catholic Spirit. The text makes it clear: Palestinian children run for cover after an Israeli missile struck a house in the densely populated area of Gaza City Sept. 6 in the Gaza Strip.

Your correction in the September 18 Catholic Spirit: “The missile was launched by Israel, not a terrorist group” fits the pattern, almost universal in the US, of describing Palestinian violence as terrorism, but never Israel’s violence as terrorism.

The current issue of The Link, published by Americans for Middle East Understanding focuses on Terror with an article by Ronald Bleier, whose parents fled the Nazis and arrived in the US in 1944 with 1000 or so mostly Jewish refugees.

Bleier begins: Much of the history of terrorism in today’s Middle East has been thrust down the Orwellian memory hole due to the highly effective campaign over the past 50 years to suppress information prejudicial to Israel.

Blowing up a bus, a train, a ship, a cafe, or a hotel; assassinating a diplomat or a peace negotiator; killing hostages, sending letter bombs; massacring defenseless villagers --this is terrorism, as we know it. In the modern Middle East it began with the Zionists who founded the Jewish state. Bleier then goes on to describe the circumstances of the various terrorist acts listed. It makes for bloody reading. See it online at

Until the US acknowledges that its ally Israel is guilty of terrorism, and recognizes the right of Palestinians to resist the occupation, the US can never hope to be considered an honest broker and help to bring about a just peace in the Middle East .

The IDF, Israeli Defense Force, continues many of these acts, including house demolitions, targeted assassinations, missile attacks on homes and apartment buildings in crowded residential areas where suspected terrorists might be. The usual US response is that Israel has a right to defend itself.



Florence Steichen, CSJ
Member of St. Stephen’s Parish, Minneapolis, MN
President, Middle East Peace Now of MN

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