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Westreich on Jesse Jackson

February 11, 1988

Two points must be addressed in Meir J. Westreich's tendentious article about the alienation between Jesse Jackson and the Jews ("Reconcile the Alienation Between Jews and Blacks," Op-Ed Page, Jan. 27). The first reveals a blindness to the real issue at hand.

George Will said it best recently. Regardless of Jackson's color, the American people--including most American Jews--are not going to embrace a candidate who hugs Yasser Arafat, poses smilingly with his arm around Fidel Castro, and spouts Third World rhetoric as the answer to complicated questions.

The second point reveals something more sinister about the writer. Namely, that he is either a self-loathing Jew, or the George Ball type of enlightened anti-Semite. He sees nothing wrong with a double standard where Jews are concerned. He excuses Jackson's "Hymieisms" by saying that they were spoken in anger. Jews should not be so sensitive about it. I believe that bigotry should not be overlooked but destroyed. I'm sure Westreich agrees that bigotry when expressed toward blacks should be recognized for what it is and addressed accordingly.

The author further continues to project the double standard as it relates to Israel. It is true that many Americans--and I am among them--are in favor of a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question, including statehood. It is an absurdity, however, to expect anyone--even Jews--to negotiate with an enemy who refuses to abandon the use of terrorism, attacking schools, buses, Olympic athletes, cruise ships, commercial jetliners, and the like in pursuit of their oft-stated goal, namely, the extermination of Israel.

As one who would like to see an end to racism, bigotry and sexism, and as one who would like to see a black President someday, I feel disappointed that the civil rights movement is represented by such shallow and fuzzy thinkers.

HERB FREED

Los Angeles

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