Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsBombings

Scheer on Mideast Reporting

April 27, 2002

Re "The Palestinian Side Must Be Told," Commentary, April 23: Robert Scheer's parents must sleep well at night knowing they brought up a son who is so full of self-hate that he brings it on his own people. At a time when many Europeans are anti-Semitic (not anti-Israel), Scheer proudly bolsters their hatred with his claim that American Jews are in denial about "the brutality of Israel's recent actions" and, therefore, "damn those who report the truth."

To what truth is Scheer referring? Israel is at war with people (housed in cities populated by civilians) who are trying to destroy civilized life in the only nation Jews have ever known and must have to survive. All wars are brutal. Ariel Sharon pleaded with and then warned Yasser Arafat of the consequences of the continual suicide bombings that were killing innocent Israeli citizens. Arafat refused to listen. Oh, yes, there was a Palestinian side to this story. Unfortunately, the sounds of the bombs on the streets of Israel and the wailing of its mourners drowned it out. To do honest reporting, one must never forget when looking at a crumbled Palestinian village or a dead Palestinian that this "brutality" will end, and the hope is that the terrorism inflicted on Israel will end with it. Once that happens, perhaps a Palestinian side can be told.

Phyllis Katzman Tolidano

Sherman Oaks

*

Thank you, Robert Scheer, for your commentary. Being neither a Jew nor an Arab, I'm heartbroken by the one-sided coverage of the conflict in the Middle East. Arabs may not be as media-savvy in constructing compelling sound bites that resonate with American sensibilities, and they certainly do not have editorial allies as predisposed to their position, but that doesn't make the Palestinian cause any less real, justified or deserving of our understanding. Untangling media bias regarding the Middle East will be as difficult as formulating a land-sharing plan in the West Bank or putting to rest generations of violence, but it's just as necessary for a lasting peace.

The American media's pro-Israeli stance accurately echoes the economic bias of the U.S. government in granting Israel billions in foreign aid each year and a relative pittance for Arabs of the region. Scheer is right, but the American media must do more than simply report the Palestinian angle. Otherwise, a few touching stories of injustice to Palestinians will become only tragic patronization in a conflict in which the U.S. has already chosen its winner.

Michael Linder

Venice

*

It is ironic that on the same day that Scheer vigorously defends his right as an American Jew to criticize Israel, you report (Page A5) that "masked gunmen pulled three Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel out of a taxi and shot them as a large crowd watched." The right of dissent is an essential Jewish tradition and Scheer has plenty of company: Noam Chomsky, Peace Now, etc. Instead of defending the already-vibrant Jewish right of dissent, may I suggest that Scheer seek out peaceful Arab dissenters. Like Anwar Sadat, they are usually snuffed out.

Mark Barak

Pomona

*

How ironic that Scheer writes an entire piece around the notion that there is no media bias against Israel and that equal coverage is given to both sides in the Mideast. He has already written multiple columns dedicated to his harsh condemnation of Israel. There are two aspects of biased journalism: how one writes an article and what one chooses to write the article about. If fewer people like Scheer were given the spotlight--where they dedicate their energy to condemning the only non-Arab country in the region--then maybe we'd be closer to honest reporting.

Boaz Hepner

Los Angeles

*

At first, I thought Scheer's column would be another instance of Israel- or Jew-bashing, but I was pleasantly surprised at his even-handedness. Scheer is Jewish and has taken a position that many, but not all, Jews will criticize, and he's not the only Jewish writer to speak out in this manner. On the flip side, I'm still waiting for a similar column to appear from an Arab or Muslim writer.

Arnold Daitch

Northridge

*

Thanks to Scheer for still speaking out against the injustice he sees in the Middle East and in the majority of the reporting on the war there. Although I see the mood in the U.S. shifting sharply toward the Israeli side, there are signs of hope for improving the living conditions of Palestinians. Just like a country hit by a natural disasters, the Palestinians will need a lot of assistance after their man-made disaster.

Columns like Scheer's remind people of the effect Israel's "war on terror" has had on the people whose neighborhoods the IDF turned into war zones.

If The Times manages to make just a few people think that there may be another side to the story, I think the subscriptions you lost due to your "pro-Palestinian" coverage are a small price to pay.

Omar Al Taher

Los Angeles

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|