Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My letter to LATimes RE Editorial: Moving in the wrong direction again?

Jerusalem American Task Force on Palestine's (emailed) News Roundup photo
RE Editorial Israel vs. Hamas: Moving in the wrong direction again?

Dear Editor,

The headline
"Israel vs. Hamas" was not very good, but the editorial calling for calm was... and "Israel, Palestinians must find reasons to negotiate rather than seeking excuses to walk away" really was an excellent prepackaged tweet/facebook post provided to your readers.

Quite clever of you to make it temptingly easy for smartphone users and tablet fans to help publicize the importance of negotiations to end the Israel-Palestine conflict.  
However, I did not stumble across your editorial via facebook or twitter, and although I do think your editorial was good, I won't be tweeting it or posting it on facebook. 

Social media is a wonderful thing in many ways- but always keep in mind most Americans are not on twitter and that tallys of what is "liked" and posted on social media is not an accurate poll of public opinion.  Social media is and always will be a subset of people who happen to have the money, the time and the interest to be online and in the mood to click 'like' for something that momentarily catches their attention in a rapidly moving avalanche of information overload. We're all just surfing on the tippy top of a fathomless sea.

I saw your editorial headlined with some other important headlines in an email of daily news & commentary round up sent out by ATFP The American Task Force on Palestine.  I read ATFP's emails because I like the fact that ATFP takes both America and Palestine seriously and that  "
ATFP provides an independent voice for Palestinian-Americans and their supporters and advances human rights and peace. It categorically and unequivocally condemns all violence against civilians, no matter the cause and who the victims or perpetrators may be."

I do hope many people read your editorial as I think you tried to be fair to both Israelis and Palestinians in concluding "
This conflict, like other conflicts around the world, has killed many innocent children. Some are Israeli children who have died at the hands of terrorists. Others are Palestinian children who have become collateral damage in repeated Israeli assaults on Hamas and other groups. The tragedy for parents, for neighbors, for communities is real either way. The latest deaths must not become a justification for an escalation of violence, for the continued death of innocents or for yet another downward spiral in the depressing and destabilizing war that so often seems to be moving in exactly the wrong direction."

I also hope more Palestinians and Palestinian Americans follow ATFP's lead in taking Palestinian statehood [and mainstream outreach & media work] seriously.

Anne Selden Annab
American homemaker & poet


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