About Washington Post’s review on YT [Archives:2003/686/Letters to the Editor]

November 17 2003

Jeffrey R. Arsham, France
[email protected]

I am a native New Yorker who has been living and working in France as a teacher and a translator for over a quarter of a century.
Just half an hour ago, I read a Washington Post press review of President Bush’s 11/6 speech, in which – for whatever reasons – he undeniably extolled freedom and championed democracy.
Reference to a recent Yemen Times editorial was made (washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25610-2003Nov11.html), and a link provided to your website. It was mentioned that your publication’s reaction had not been as negative as a superficial web surfer or TV viewer might have been led to believe.
In fact, your reaction, especially in the answer to the letter from Ms. Jacobs, is quite negative — and disappointingly so, in my opinion. You don’t seem to realize that the military reaction recently undertaken in Iraq is a telling indication that unlike too many of its predecessors, the Bush administration is dead serious about fighting against dictatorship and in favor of democracy. That is what USA soldiers have been dying for, and it is the noblest, the most worthy of causes.
We may not see eye to eye on this, but I would like to think we can agree to disagree. On the other hand, I admit to having been shocked and jolted by your editorial stance in which unnamed framers of the USA constitution are said to have been wary about possible “Jewish” influence or interference. As a student of history, I cannot even begin to understand who or what you may have had in mind. As a concerned citizen, I worry that your principled opposition to Israel (as a state? with its post-1967 settlements?) could well dovetail into the all-too-usual, sadly timeworn, positively unhelpful, altogether indefensible refrains characterizing the odium of anti-Semitism.
Am I making a mistake? It should be obvious that I am not looking for a fight, but rather calling and bidding for a dialogue. Could you kindly try to clarify?

Dear Jeffrey,
I believe you have a point in opening a dialogue. I only want to affirm to you that if you are a historian and yet are not aware of the Jewish lobby’s influence on the USA’s administration, then you ought to ask yourself why the USA is the only nation on earth to have vetoed tens of times to save Israel from critical Security Council resolutions, and why it has been in support of the small nuclear state –with atomic bombs- in a time it has prevented others from even thinking of peaceful reactors.
You should give it a thought and study well, not only from books offered to you, but in experiences of real life and undisputable happenings around you. Only then will you get the complete picture. Don’t be offended. I am also responding so kindly by asking you to look around you and think!
– Editor