Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I've been searching the Web for older letters that I've forgotten about. Here's one that appears in the Middle East Times, an English language newspaper based in Egypt. The ME Times suffers from some of the same maladies as the rest of the Arab presses, but I commend them here on trying to present, what is for the Arab world, a relatively balanced view. I believe that courage must on some level be assessed relative to surrounding. Given the neighborhood ME TImes operates in, the paper is a decent source of news, at least for the Arab world.

Critical matters

Though I am pro-Israeli, I wish to commend you on your publication.

Few news sources in the Arab world are courageous enough to criticize the problems the plague that world, including press censorship and bad governance. I only pray that democracy comes to your part of world sooner rather than later.

As a Jew, I know enough about the history of my own people to know that the great medieval sages had much good to say about Islam, the kind practiced by peaceful Muslims.

Despite your courageous reporting on the Arab world, you still fall prey one of its worst traits; you focus too much on blaming Israel.

One letter you printed, in which the writer intimated that U.S. support for Israel was based on foreign policy being sold to the highest bidder, was clearly anti-Semitic.

The problems of the Arab world will not dissipate until Arab leaders and intelligentsia care more about their own people than about blaming Israel and the United States for all their ills.

The opinion of the man in the Arab street is understandable, not because there is a genuine hatred for Jew and Israel (though it exists), but because Arab leaders have fed their peoples a steady diet of anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism to deflect criticism of themselves.

The sooner Arabs understand this, the faster their societies will improve, and the faster the Palestinians will have their state, which will hopefully be a model of good governance.

Michael Brenner, Woodmere, NY, USA

This letter is also available at:


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