Letter: Not addressing the issue

By The Daily Illini

I’m puzzled after reading Joseph Danavi’s letter (Nov. 19) regarding Elie Dvorin’s column (Nov. 15) about Yasser Arafat. Mr. Danavi referred to Mr. Dvorin’s piece as “militant garbage that relies heavily upon lies and distortion.” But Mr. Danavi did not bother to refute one single point in Mr. Dvorin’s column. Not one!

Instead, he engaged in the age-old “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” defense by claiming the Israelis are no angels. In fact, he closed his letter by making the claim that Israel’s violence is much worse than that of Islamic fundamentalists. Mr. Danavi has effectively given the brush-off to Arafat’s documented terrorist activities by vilifying the Israelis. This is akin to a husband claiming innocence to adultery by pointing the finger at his wife and saying, “She cheated with more people than I did, so her claims against me are lies!” No, asserting your enemies are worse than you does not excuse your actions, and Mr. Danavi should be ashamed of himself for trying to convey that message.

If Mr. Danavi were honest about his letter, he would have acknowledged it was not a refutation of Mr. Dvorin’s supposed “lies” but simply an attempt to portray Arafat’s enemies in a bad light. In fact, Mr. Danavi’s refusal to even tackle the events raised in Mr. Dvorin’s column lends credence to the idea that Arafat’s actions were indefensible. It’s tough to refute “lies” when you don’t even address them.

Drew Stout

University alumnus

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