Graphic Illustration

The illustration "Rocks Versus Rifles: How the Basic Weapons of Israelis and Palestinians Stack Up," in your October 24 issue, was more eloquent than any editorial or op-ed article that could have been written on the Middle Eastern conflict. Kudos to The Village Voice for commenting creatively on the violence in the Israeli-occupied territories.

Abdussalam Chouia
Executive Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Santa Clara, California

Explosive Situation

Your illustration "Rocks Versus Rifles" failed to mention the Palestinians' other weapon of choice: homemade bombs on public buses, airliners, and in public squares.

Rick Miranda

Silence of the Right

I was at the pro-Israel rally Alisa Solomon describes in her article "The Silence of the Left" [October 24]. I was present for two and a half hours, and walked the entire length of the rally on Second Avenue. Not once did I hear the "small but vocal and well-organized Jewish right wing—yeshiva students chanting, 'Death to the Arabs!' " whom Solomon claims "dominated" it. I have asked people from my workplace and social circle who attended the rally, and have read various news accounts. I cannot find such groups or chants being mentioned in any other account of the event.

Solomon's article did not mention the signs equating Judaism—not Israel but Judaism—with Nazism at the pro-Palestinian rally on the same street on the next day. The two Israeli soldiers who were lynched at the hands of a happy and cheering Palestinian mob on the very day of the pro-Israel rally also seem to have been conveniently omitted from her story.

If Solomon had truly looked around her (beyond, that is, the story she wanted to write from the start), perhaps she would begin to understand the true reason some of us who believed in and hoped for the peace process now find ourselves not full of hate, but full of sadness, heartache, despondency, and, yes, some cynicism—after watching a Palestinian mob gleefully holding their bloodstained hands up for the crowds and the cameras.

Jordana H. Marinoff

Alisa Solomon replies: Right-wing views officially dominated the rally: The ad for it and speeches from the stage defended Ariel Sharon's incendiary visit to the Temple Mount, denied that Israel shares responsibility for the violence, and insisted on sole Israeli control of Jerusalem. Jews for Peace Through Justice, while in no way justifying the despicable murder of the two Israeli soldiers, called for mourning all the dead, noting that because Palestinian deaths have been so disproportionate one must question the excessiveness of the Israeli response. As for the yeshiva students, if Ms. Marinoff did not encounter their disgusting attitudes, I envy her.

No Slouch

Thank you, on behalf of Arab Americans and the children in Palestine who dream of a place to call home, for Cynthia Cotts's October 24 Press Clips column ["Slouching Toward Jerusalem"]. I began to read it with the same numbness and pessimistic expectation I have grown accustomed to when I open the papers every morning. I search for a glimpse of truth amid racist assumptions ("they send their children out to die"), biased fallacies, and a barrage of punches to the gut by politicians I have elected to represent me. Cotts's column has restored some of my faith in the phrase "journalistic integrity."

Dania Ahmad
Mahwah, New Jersey

Cast Aside

Re Peter Noel's "Why Blacks Shouldn't Vote for Hillary" [October 24]: Not casting a vote is not only irresponsible but an insult to the memory of those people who marched and died so that we would all have the privilege. The question is not whether Hillary Clinton is a perfect candidate, but whether or not she is a better candidate than her opponent. If so, she deserves your vote.

Julia Shaw
Lexington, Kentucky

Not in Vain

Re Dan Savage's October 24 column about Ralph Nader being a "vanity candidate": It's my right to throw away my vote, or to not vote, without fear of electing the greater of two evils.

As for the comparison of the Green Party with the Reform Party, the dynamics in the way the two parties operate are not the same. The Greens are not going to implode because a wealthy benefactor did not create this party—it is a real grassroots movement.

Is it better to have a greedy Republican or a two-faced Democrat as president? I'd rather throw my vote away and go to Canada with Dan than vote for someone I can't trust.

Steve Stannen
Columbia, Missouri

Wen Ho Leaks

I don't mean to quarrel with the underlying premises of Cynthia Cotts's October 17 Press Clips column headlined "Twin Leaks": that investigative reporting is a vital safeguard of democracy and that Times-bashing is great sport. But I must point out one factual matter that seems to have eluded Arlen Specter, Notra Trulock, the Department of Energy, The Washington Post, and most of the other news organizations that covered the Senate hearing.

Energy Secretary Bill Richardson identified Wen Ho Lee to our reporter on the record, and the information was attributed to him by name in the story of March 9, 1999. I can't speak for the many other news organizations that learned and published Dr. Lee's name that day, but no one "leaked" it to us. Therefore if Jim Risen identified Richardson as the source of the information in a conversation with Trulock, and I don't know whether he did or not, he was simply repeating something he'd already reported on the front page of our newspaper. Demonstrably, there were no "twin leaks." The exchange in the Senate over who "leaked" the name, and most of the news stories that followed from it, were based on a premise that was false, as anyone with access to an archive could have checked.

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