Letters to the editor

Arafat: An evil man and a terrorist

I think what made Yasser Arafat’s final days appalling was that so evil a man commanded so much respect.

Arafat’s legacy is one of terrorism and failed leadership: Instead of building a state for the Palestinian people, he focused on ways to destroy Israel. 

While some will celebrate his accomplishments as a galvanizing force in the quest for Palestinian nationhood, Arafat’s real legacy was that of a terrorist who repeatedly failed his people, leading the Palestinians down a path to self-destruction instead of the road to peace. Arafat’s elevation to the dignity of a peace-seeking statesman is due to some Western politicians’ moral corruption.

Ehood Geva | Palo Alto

Arafat’s ‘legacy: Blood, deceit, lies’

The news reports and media groupies weeping and rewriting the legacy of Yasser Arafat make me feel like I am living in the “Twilight Zone.” This man was nothing but a monster, a terrorist and an oppressor of his own people.

For all the people who mourn his passing, here are a few tidbits to remember before you say Kaddish for him. Arafat co-founded Fatah, which murdered Israelis; became the head of the PLO, an umbrella organization for Palestinian terrorism; hijacked airplanes; murdered American diplomats; murdered Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics; had streets and schools and squares named after suicide bombers; and, most of all, lied and stole money from the people who needed it most, the Palestinians.

His legacy is one of blood, deceit, and lies.

Allyson Rowen Taylor | Valley Glen

Promoting jihad and suicide bombers

Today, rational people should mourn for the innocent and thank God for the death of bloodthirsty demons such as Yasser Arafat; the obliteration of evil from the world is a blessing.

Arafat is the father of modern terrorism, which means excusing exploding bombs in buses, trains, planes, discos, supermarkets, open air markets, restaurants, cafes, schools and athletic events for a “political” cause.

Arafat was the role model for terror, for Saddam Hussein, for Osama bin Laden, for anyone who cheapens human life by being willing to indiscriminately slaughter innocents.

A miniscule sample of Arafat’s victims: American diplomats Cleo Noel Jr. and George Curtis Moore, a group of men seized by Arafat’s Black September terrorists during a reception at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Khartoum [Sudan], or the Munich massacre where Israeli Olympic athletes were slaughtered because they were Israeli. 

As of today, the Palestinian Authority still promotes jihad and glorifies becoming a suicide bomber to children who watch their version of “Sesame Street” (this was presented to Congress in October 2003, outraging both Democrats and Republicans).

This time, will mainstream media report the facts or will it continue to erode what is left of its credibility by deifying a murderous butcher?

Lisa Cohen | Menlo Park

Can’t back Bush until…

In your Nov. 5 editorial, you said Jews who voted for John Kerry should rally behind President Bush. I will happily do that when he:

• Ends the immoral, illegal war in Iraq.

• Stops cutting taxes to the wealthiest people in this wealthy nation, and funds the important social programs that have been part of American life since FDR, including a national health-care system.

• Stops talking about religious faith, and talks about and promotes science.

• Becomes a defender of the working classes by promoting a healthy economy, not an economy that enriches the few while impoverishing everyone else.

• Gets serious about peace between Israel and the Palestinians not by giving Sharon carte blanche but by restoring our role as an honest broker.

• Gets serious about global peace, including the Sudan, by reassuming the role of free world leader by promoting democracy and human rights through international cooperation, not through bombing and support for brutal dictatorships.

• Begins to support all international agencies (even the United Nations) and recognizes that only our participation will make them better.

• Supports arms control and nuclear non-proliferation by support for all international arms control agencies.

• Becomes a uniter, not a divider, as he promised four years ago.

Danny Yanow | San Francisco

America first

With the rise in numbers of Jews going over to the Republican Party, I can’t help but wonder, “Why?”

Why, now or in the future, go to a group of people who stand against many issues Jews have held sacred for generations?

What will Jews do when the dreams of the likes of Christian Coalition strategists such as Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed become a reality and they finally have, as they have stated, a “government totally run by Christians for Christians”?

Where does this leave any non-believers in such a “Christian utopia”? The only reason they want Jews in their party is for their votes.

An old Holocaust poem written by a priest talks about how silent he remained when one by one the Nazis came for different groups of his neighbors. When they came for him, there was no one left to speak for him.

American Jews must vote for and support a president who will do best for America first, not for what he/she will do for Israel first. If the latter is the case, then they should be living in the country that comes first in their lives.

Alan Ferrara | San Francisco

Lost opportunity?

I came across your Web site while doing some research and read the Nov. 12 article regarding the Palestinian youth staying with the Friedman-Gyr family in Palo Alto, “Exchanging ideas.” The article spoke about how this boy is celebrating Ramadan and teaching the family about Palestine. How he is learning about democracy in America.

Missing, however, was anything regarding what this family is teaching this youth. Is he learning anything positive about Jews and Judaism? Is he learning about the history of Israel and our rights to a homeland?

The Friedman-Gyrs must remember that they are not only representing America but also the Jewish people. They have an opportunity to teach this kid something, but from your article, it appears that they are not.

Monica Schwartzbach | West Orange, N.J.

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