153. Poelker lost track of truth

Hopefully NCR will not be deterred from its laudable and courageous coverage of the oppression of the Palestinians by the likes of Tom Poelker's letter of May 5 [152].

He maliciously insinuates that Israel's conflict is with "Muslim Palestinians" hoping we will forget that many of the Palestinians are our Christian brothers and sisters. Let's be honest, Mr. Poelkner. It is the Arab population, Christian and Muslim, that is the object of a deliberate system of old-fashioned apartheid.

Secondly, the 1947 partitioning of Palestine was adopted by the UN General Assembly, not the General Assembly, and as such was a but a recommendation. The fact remains that two thirds of the population of Palestine was Arab and no one asked these people for their opinion about this imposition.

Finally, Mr. Poelkner repeats the tired and long-discredited propaganda that the Arab leaders "urged the Muslim Palestinians to flee their homes." On the contrary, Israeli historian, Simha Flappan, estimates in "The Birth of Israel" that 84% of the Palestinians left in direct response to Israeli actions. Irish journalist, Erskine Childers, examined all of the British and American monitoring of broadcasts in the area at that time and concluded that "There was not a single order, or appeal, or suggestion about evacuation from Palestine from any Arab radio station, inside or outside Palestine, in 1948."

NCR has not "lost track of the history of Israel," but Mr. Poelker has lost track of the truth.

May 19, 1997