Monday, June 28, 2010

An Open Letter to the Author of a Rasheed Screed

Jamilah Rasheed is a regular contributor to "Faith Matters," a commentary feature of the New Haven Register.

Typically, her columns are not only visciously anti-Israel screeds, but filled with blatant factual errors and misrepresentations.

She wrote a typical one of her columns on June 26, 2010. It is currently viewable online by clicking here.

Ed Wood wrote the following open letter to Rasheed taking issue with it.

AN OPEN LETTER TO MS. JAMILAH RASHEED concerning her June 26, 2010 "Faith Matters" submission to the New Haven Register

June 28, 2010

Dear Ms. Rasheed:

I've often taken issue openly with the views you've expressed from time to time in the New Haven Register. However, since I've likely reached the limitation on the number of submissions its opinion page will publish from "ordinary folks" such as myself, I have taken the opportunity to present these comments in this "open letter" forum which will hopefully bing it to your attention and to others who might be interested in these matters.

I believe your "Faith Matters" submission ignored the following:

1) Hamas has historically been adverse to the existence of Israel as a nation and has made no effort to conceal this fact both by its declarations and actions.

2) Even though Israel handed over the Gaza territory so that its inhabitants could enjoy autonomy, Israel has paradoxically received for this effort continuous rocket attacks into its territory ever since.

3) Israel, like any other nation, has the absolute right to insure its own safety. I believe it has acted with incredible restraint and that the blockade is in fact a very minimal response toward that end considering the hostility to which it has been subjected from the Gazans since 2005. The truth of the matter is that Israel has already provided means of conveying humanitarian aid to Gaza which also allows it to protect itself from contraband. Since this is so, the operation of running its blockade is not necessary unless the true motive of those doing so is that of provoking confrontations designed to unjustly vilify Israel in an effort to elicit sympathy from the international community - which appears to be exactly what has happened.

4) It is my assertion that the inability or perhaps the unwillingness of the Gazans to reign in those of their own members who are carrying out these provocative attacks is the prime reason for the isolation and hardship they may be experiencing.

5) A comment was made by you that the U.S. ought to be providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. This is already the case. I'll be honest with you, Ms. Rasheed. The U.S. government has been a lot more charitable that I would be personally. I have never been able to erase the image of the Palestinians dancing in the streets as our twin Trade Towers crumbled into the ground on 9-11 which to me expressed the depths of their continuing hatred toward America, Israel, and the freedom all democracies represent. I do not believe as such that they are deserving of a single dime from this country!

In my opinion if you wish there to be an accommodation and acceptance of the Islamic world by the rest of us, then it will have be the one that has to make some dramatic, genuine, and permanent changes in its attitudes and actions toward those both inside and outside its belief system.

Yours Truly,
Edward Wood

Rasheed's screed also led PRIMER to alert its members with the following analysis.

While some of those on the flotilla may have been misguided humanitarians, the organizers certainly were not.

Greta Berlin, one of the organizers, admitted: "This mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies."

The organizers also pointedly refused a plea that they ask Hamas to let human rights organizations, such as the International Red Cross, visit Gilad Shalit and allow him to receive packages. Friday, the day before Rasheed's screed was published, marked four years that Gilad Shalit has been held hostage by Hamas. As Ehud Barak recently said: "There are 1.5 million people living in Gaza and only one of them really needs humanitarian aid. Only one of them is locked in a tiny room and never sees the light of day, only one of them is not allowed visits and is in uncertain health - his name is Gilad Shalit, and this month four years will have passed since he was kidnapped."

Rasheed refers to the ship, the Mavi Marmara, allegedly having been searched in Turkey "to ensure weapons were not on board." She neglected to mention that forty trained mercenaries were on board, with weapons, night vision goggles and bulletproof vests.

She also falsely claims "soldiers dropped from the helicopter and began shooting." The soldiers were viciously attacked and beaten as they, armed primarily with paintball rifles, were rappelling down to the ship. Only after several were seriously injured, with one thrown down 30 feet from the deck, were the soldiers authorized to return fire.

There was an attempted massacre, of the Israelis, but there was no massacre of those on the flotilla. Those killed were far from innocent; they were all among the attackers.

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