Volume 96, Issue 76
Thursday, February 13, 2003

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Anger rooted in occupation

Re: "Is nuclear terrorism inevitable?" Feb. 7

To the Editor:

Des Stutchbury uses anti-Israeli and anti-western interchangeably in his lengthy [article about] the future of international relations. Thus, he equates the unique situation of apartheid in Israel with the negative results of globalization and global poverty. This distorts what the threats against the West, and against Israel really are.

The turmoil in the Middle East is largely the result of the Israeli occupation (of Palistine), and the politico-economic instability that has resulted from it. The threat of terrorism to Israel is the result of over 50 years of occupation directly and systematically destroying the cultural, economic and political integrity of the Palestinian people. It is the humiliation and denial of Palestinian dignity from daily military brutality, coupled with the socio-economic and political results of the occupation, that are responsible for the resistance known as terrorism.

This distinguishes anti-western terrorism from Palestinian terrorism. Anti-western terrorism seeks to punish the West for its effects upon the rest of the world. Palestinian terrorism seeks to end [Israeli] occupation for the creation of a Palestinian state. The United Nations recognizes no right of punishment, but it does recognize the fundamental right to self-determination. The UN has recognized the Palestinian state and the right to resist the occupation. The UN has not recognized the right of Al-Qaeda and other groups to target countries that pose a mere ideological or economic "risk in the air."

The author cites only who has bombs, who has money and the potential damage of a coastal suicide nuclear-bomber. The only anti-western Middle Eastern countries cited are Iran and Iraq. Their interest in Israel is far different than that of the Palestinians; likewise, any Palestinian contempt for the West is limited to its unfounded support for the Israeli occupation.

This confusion in the media distorts the situation and unites the West with Israel in a battle against terrorism. The reality is that we are supporting the silent persecution of the Palestinians in the name of global justice and the War on Terror.

Randa B. Mouammar
Law I

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