Letter: Checking the facts

By The Daily Illini

Mr. Danavi’s defense of Yasser Arafat contained more half-truths and lies than any recently printed article in the DI, and it is a shame that this student newspaper insists on publishing such anti-Jewish diatribes. For starters, he makes a claim that Ariel Sharon once said, “I vow that I’ll burn every Palestinian child (that) will be born in this area.” This quote is a fabrication by anti-Semitic Jihadist Web sites and should never be seen in a Western paper as legitimate. See http://www.jewishpress.com/news_article.asp?article=4235. In fact, I believe former columnist and hatemonger Mariam Sobh, anti-Jewish/Israel activist, used the same or similar quote last year. The DI is no stranger to fabricating quotes on Jews or otherwise printing stuff in their paper to demonize the Jewish people.

Additionally, Mr. Danavi tries to say that only a minority of Palestinians hate the United States, referring to the celebrations after the September 11, 2001 attacks. I ask all readers who believe this to please see the publications of the MEMRI at www.memri.org.

He also claimed that Palestinians recognized Israel and offered a two-state solution without ever getting something in return. Ehud Barak and President Clinton made that offer to Arafat at Camp David in 2000, and Arafat refused and never made a counter-offer. There is also the claim here that 78 percent of the British mandate of Palestine went to Israel. This is simply not true. Palestine, as the British came to control it after World War I, included Jordan and Israel, and therefore, the vast majority of it remained in Arab hands. Additionally, the 78 percent that Danavi claims Arafat lost is the internationally recognized border of Israel. It seemed that Danavi is advocating Israel’s destruction in a not so subtle way. Freedom of speech is no defense for The DI to constantly print attacks on Jews. At the very least, the editors should make a quick check of the facts before accepting letters.

Ryan Sawyer

graduate student