237. Writer ignores facts on Mideast crisis

Carmine Masucci's "reply" (June 23) to Victor Lama's Community View of June 19 is not a reply at all.

The issues raised by Mr. Masucci are totally unrelated to Mr. Lama's point and fail to address it: that the Israeli lobby wields too much power on U.S. Mideast policy. He accuses Mr. Lama of not presenting all the facts; yet he refutes not one single fact presented because Mr. Lama's facts are irrefutable. He also preferred not to dwell too much on a sensitive subject, namely the Israeli lobby's influence.Changing the subject is a well-known tactic of Israel's apologists.

Mr. Masucci raised nine questions that a short letter cannot deal with them all. His first question: If Israel wants to subjugate the Palestinians, why are the road signs, maps, etc., in Arabic, Hebrew and English? How silly. The Palestinians with Israeli citizenship are indeed subjugated. They are third-class citizens. At the beginning of this intifada, the Israeli army opened fire on them while demonstrating, killing 12. The Israeli army would have never opened fire on Israeli Jews demonstrating.

It is as if Israel were doing a favor to its non-Jewish minority by having the road signs written in their language. If Palestinians were asked, they would have answered: "It is better to have the signs in Chinese than being killed by the army of our country just because we are not Jews!"

Mr. Masucci is insensitive to the plight of a minority in a country that pretends to be a democracy.

July 8, 2002