By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
Shoot to Maim, a special report done under the auspices of the University of California at Berkeley School of Journalism and featured on the Voice's February 27 cover, generated an unusual amount of reader response. The Voice received hundreds of letters in reaction to the article, some decrying the use of "excessive force" against Palestinian youths, others speaking out in support of Israel. The following is a representative selection of some of the mail received.
There is a great dearth of honest, informative, and unbiased press coverage of the situation in Palestine. Articles such as this one are greatly appreciated and extremely important to educate the American public.
American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
San Francisco, California
I find it ironic that this article criticized Israel's choice of bullets while hardly mentioning the highly destructive weapons employed by Hamas and PLO operatives such as buses driven into crowds of people and bombs planted in civilian marketplaces. Can't the Voice even make an attempt at impartiality?
Jon Van Steenis
New Orleans, Louisiana
My wife and I, both of us Canadians, have been in Jerusalem for two and a half years. We regard Israel's actions during this time, and especially since late September, as indefensible.
At some point in the future, Israel will no longer be able to deny to others or to itself what it has been doing. There will most likely be much more suffering before the accounting process begins.
"Shoot to Maim" is a troubling example of the inaccurate anti-Israel bias prevalent in certain segments of the media. The skewed sense of mercy shown toward Arab terrorists should disturb the conscience of any honest person. Let it be known that these individuals are committed to the annihilation of every Jew living in Israel.
The classical rabbis of Jewish thought had a maxim which illustrates this point: One who shows mercy to the cruel will one day be cruel to the merciful. God bless the M16!
As a lifelong New Yorker currently living in the Middle East, it was a relief to find an article detailing Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians in a New York?based paper. I have been appalled by the biased and racist anti-Arab coverage of the Al Aqsa Intifada in contrast to the more objective and comprehensive coverage I have received in the region. However, by calling Ariel Sharon merely "a hard-liner," the Voice continues in the vein of the U.S. mainstream press.
While stories of injured Palestinians are indeed sad, the violence and subsequent harm could easily have been avoided. When you go on the offensive and challenge your enemy, you will undoubtedly be taken on. Injuries on the Israeli side, on the other hand, have been the result of Israelis going about day-to-day activities. The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly refused any attempt at reconciliation. Offering blood money for children injured or killed doesn't help promote an environment geared toward a peaceful solution. Peace will come to the region when the Palestinians love their children more than they hate the Israelis.
Ginot Shomron, Israel
I just returned from a trip to the West Bank and Gaza with the National Lawyers Guild. I saw hundreds of X rays in hospitals depicting the fragmenting nature of the M16 bullets and was horrified. I was beginning to think that the media in the U.S. was too afraid to tell the story of this atrocity.
THE WORM TURNS
This irresponsible article is more of the tiresome anti-Israel bashing so fashionable these days. It failed to mention how Yasir Arafat encourages Palestinian kids and their families with promises of compensation and dreams of martyrdom. You think the so-called Palestinians are angry now? Wait until they find out how they've all been duped and conned for years by the PLO just so that maggot Arafat and his ilk can sustain their bank accounts.
As painful as it is for an Israeli to read this article, both Israelis and American Jews have to face the fact that Israel's claim of restraint in dealing with the Al Aqsa Intifada is simply false. Facing reality, including our own violence against the Palestinian people, will serve the cause of a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more than the perpetuation of myths.
West Jerusalem, Israel
The Village Voice has failed to accurately report on the tragedies in Israel. Things are not always what they appear to be, especially in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Did it occur to the reporters that perhaps their sources see with tunnel vision and do not have a real grasp of what's happening on the ground?
The matter-of-fact statements by various health professionals and injured Palestinians show courage in the face of adversity: Their humanity shines in the presence of the all-powerful evils that control their existence. By adding a human dimension to very disturbing statistics, these reporters have exposed the wanton violence of Israeli military occupation. It is now up to us to ask members of Congress not to allow any more American financial and military aid to support a war against civilians.