Letters | Palestinians and Penn


Palestinian Problem Goes Much Deeper

Fiamma Nirenstein is right to observe that Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas only show interest in negotiations when they are cash-strapped and that to financially aid their regimes is to misguidedly prolong and entrench the conflict, not help end it (“When Terrorists Call for Peace, It’s Because They’re Out of Money,” Oct. 18).

This is not only an observation applicable to Palestinian Arab terror organizations and their leadership, but also to Palestinian Arab society as a whole. It was not simply members of Hamas, but vast throngs of Gazans who destroyed the greenhouses Israel left behind for their benefit during the 2005 Israeli unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.

The Gaza woman who in 2005 attempted to repay the Israeli hospital that had successfully treated her terrible burns in a domestic accident by returning as a suicide bomber; the Gaza mother who in 2011 said on air that she hoped her son, who had just been saved from a serious medical condition by the exertions of Israeli doctors, would grow up to be a suicide bomber — these are just two examples among many illustrating the tragic truth that Palestinian society largely takes for granted Israeli and international humanitarianism and largesse.

Far from these inducing a spirit of reconciliation, moderation or non-belligerence, Palestinian Arab society is deeply entrenched in a holding pattern of accepting hand-outs without accountability, while refusing anything that does not entail Israel’s eventual elimination.

The theory that poverty lies at the root cause of terrorism and extremism is a dangerous myth, as indeed numerous studies have shown.

Morton A. Klein | Merion Station

Opposing Views Will Come

I read the coverage of a Penn Middle East Center event in the Exponent and have a question (“Breaking the Silence Creates Stir in University City,” Oct. 18). If Mort Klein spoke at Penn, and there was no opposing view alongside his, would you report that “an opposing view was not presented”?

Of course, at the event, members of the audience presented at length opposing views. So, in fact, your story is inaccurate. Even I challenged the speaker on a crucial point. But as I explained in my interview, Penn achieves variety in the points of view to which the community is exposed through sequences of events, not by imposing a debate format on every event. 

Ian Lustick | Penn Valley


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