Letter: Don’t blame Israel

Several responses to the Muhammad cartoons took time away from their main points to attack Israel. These DI readers have elevated hypocrisy to a new level. I object to these baseless attacks for three reasons. First and foremost, no Israeli media outlet printed or distributed the cartoons that have caused such outrage in the Muslim world. Blaming Israel for their proliferation is illogical.

Secondly, Israel has a free and open press, operating under the same standards of professional journalism that our own journalists subscribe to. Israeli media chose not to run these cartoons out of respect for Islam, the religion practiced by nearly one in five Israeli citizens.

Finally, Israel has been the subject of thousands of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist cartoons over the years. Most of these originate from the Arab world. The most prevalent difference is that when the Egyptian daily “al-Wafd” newspaper prints an anti-Semitic cartoon, Israelis don’t rush off to torch the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv.

Israel was not involved in the printing or distribution of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, it is difficult to understand why anyone would choose to attack Israel over them. Allow me to simplify things for the readers: For these anti-Zionists, this cartoon controversy presented an opportunity to drag Israel’s name through the mud.

Edward M. Brener

Senior in LAS

President, Illinois – Israel Public Affairs Committee