Defenders of militant Zionism like Joel Weberman (letter, 12/23/04) draw from a quiver full of arrows to smite anyone who dares support the rights of Palestinians to a free and independent nation of their own. One arrow in the quiver charges that critics of Israeli state policies are anti-Semitic (forgetting that Palestinians themselves are also Semites). Another argues that those who support Palestinian self-determination fail to acknowledge the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust (ignoring the fact that Palestinians shouldnt be made to suffer for what Europeans did to Europeans.). A third arrow -- directed at Jews who criticize Israeli/U.S. policies and actions against Palestinians (see jewishvoiceforpeace.com, among many Jewish peace and solidarity organizations) -- castigates Jews for being self hating. A fourth arrow -- the one that Weberman slings at letter-writer Mary Heffron -- is the you need a history lesson, dearie response.
Unleashing these arrows stifles honest and open-minded efforts to understand and support the rights of Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East. Forget about reading, studying, discussing; the answers are clear and unassailable. Weberman evidently received his history lessons on tablets of stone. Thus, hes absolutely certain that what most of the rest of the world sees as an Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian people is no such thing. Theres no hope of convincing him otherwise... and its not worth trying.
Northern Express readers who wish to learn more about how history has been employed to drive political agendas such as Webermans are encouraged to read “Lies My Teacher Told Me,“ by James Loewen (New Press, 1995), and “History Lessons: How Textbooks from around the World Portray U.S. History“ by Dana Lindaman and Kyle War (New Press, 2004). Check the website of MidEast: Just Peace for other resources and local educational events: www.mideastjustpeace.org.
Tom Fenton Cedar
Charade of a Parade
What could be more divorced from reality than events unfolding in Washington, D.C. on January 20 as George Bush takes the oath of office? Although we do not have $40 million or four days to spend on a party like the crew in D.C., a Theater of the Absurd and the Charade of a Parade will take place in Traverse City. Participants will meet at the parking structure on Park Street between Front and State at 11:30 a.m. and proceed to the Post Office for a swearing in ceremony at 12 noon. You are welcome to bring your own signs and musical instruments. All are welcome.
Billionaires for Bush, Mother Earth, Chief Justice, the Opposition Chorus and, of course, the Emperor himself will be in attendance at the local inaugural event. Although the Emperor usually wears no clothes, in consideration of the youngsters who may be in attendance, he will be dressed so as to avoid further scandals. The Down Home Security Department will be on hand to assure all citizens of protection. For more information and a flyer see www.traversepeacealerts.org
Marian Kromkowski Suttons Bay
Imagine a nation where state funded abstinence only programs give medically inaccurate, biased information, putting teenagers at risk for unintended pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections.
Imagine a nation where a woman can be turned away at her local pharmacy when trying to refill her prescription for birth control pills simply because the pharmacist does not believe in contraception.
Imagine a country where a woman faces harassment, humiliation, and sometimes even violence for choosing to end a pregnancy that is unintended, the result of rape or incest, or that she is unable to cope with for any number of other real life reasons.
You neednt imagine any further. Thirty-two years after the landmark legal decision, Roe v. Wade, women are still struggling to have full access to reproductive health care and accurate reproductive information here in the United States. Legislators and anti-choice zealots have steadily chipped away at reproductive rights, and access to reproductive health services is increasingly at risk, especially in non-urban areas like our own.
Its time that women, our partners, and all citizens take a stand to make it known that we support a woman‘s right to make decisions about childbearing, birth control, and to obtain accurate and comprehensive sexuality education.
I encourage you to contact your legislators and tell them that you support these basic rights. In the meantime, support the women in your life who are no doubt making decisions about their bodies and about their future with too few options and not enough information.
Holly Wren Spaulding Cedar
Last week‘s bridal section incorrectly stated that Castle Farms in Charlevoix was hosting a bridal expo in February. The actual date is Oct. 1.