Friday, October 10, 2003

This letter appeared in the Observer (sister weekly of the Guardian) on September 28. It was in response to the Observer's excerpt from the new edition of "The Gun and the Olive Branch" by former Guardian Middle East correspondent David Hirst.


  • Israel misjudged

    Sunday September 28, 2003
    The Observer

    In a demonising tone, David Hirst (Comment, last week) suggests that Israel uses threats of irrational nuclear force to blackmail the entire world. This is an old tactic of lobbyists for Arabist causes: in order to explain away the absurdity of painting a small Jewish country of a few million people as a risk to 300 million Arabs, or in this case, the even more absurd notion that this little country threatens the entire world, Israelis must be stereotyped as crazy people willing to use their nuclear weapons to commit unspeakable crimes.
    The aim is to deflect attention from the fact that in the Middle East, a region where brutal dictators massacre hundreds of thousands of their own people, expel religious minorities, support suicide terrorism and, most cruelly, deny refugees citizenship so that they can be used as pawns in a racist struggle to make the Middle East ethnically pure, Israel is far and away the most humane society.

    Michael Brenner
    New York

    The Hirst original can be found here:



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