[231. Even Israelis admit to vandalim

Shiela Kent in her May 1 letter didn't even try to hide her racism. Ms. Kent seemed to be in a state of shock, not because, in her mind, Israeli soldiers can never do such an abhorrent thing, stealing jewels from Palestinian homes, but because, in her mind, there is no way Palestinians could even have jewels. “Jewels!” she wrote, “Palestinian women have jewels worthy of stealing!” Not only such an exclamation denotes ignorance of Arab culture but also racism. The Palestinian people have been so dehumanized in the American media that people like Shiela Kent can make such a racist remark and get away with it.

Acts of vandalism and looting were widespread. Even the Jewish weekly, Forward of May 3, could not hide this fact while taking all the precautions to minimize these despicable acts. Amos Harel of the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, (April 30), reported: "There were indeed wide-scale, ugly phenomena of vandalism … There were places in which bank branches were destroyed and automatic tellers were raided … The extent of the looting is much greater than could have been expected in advance.”

The Israeli occupation forces also perpetrated war crimes. The British paper The Independent spent five days investigating what happened in Jenin. On April 25, it reported how civilians were deliberately targeted, how a Palestinian nurse was shot dead while helping a wounded man, how a handicapped man was shot dead in his wheelchair.

Is it any wonder that Israel rejected a fact-finding mission?

May 14, 2002]