Disappointed

Feb. 22, 2007 | The Pedestal Magazine

Dec. 22, 2006

Dear John–

I’m disappointed with TPM‘s interview of Naomi Shihab Nye, who on the one hand claims to have a secular Muslim father, a former Lutheran mother (both “ecumenical, open-minded people”) and to be herself “[r]especting all paths, rejecting fundamentalism of all stripes,” while on the other hand, in her previous thought, demonstrating Orthodox Palestinianism, a late 20th and 21st Century fundamentalism, which blames the Jewish people for daring to have their own state, and denies them the same right of self-determination and nationhood allowed and encouraged for every other people under the sun.

Palestinianism is neither secular, nor humanist. Ms. Nye calls for “mutual respect, autonomy and self-determination, for the Israeli and the Palestinian people…” Yet she also claims (falsely) that these have never been granted to Palestinians—and that the only way Palestinians can achieve such autonomy is by denying the same to the Jewish people.

The Palestinian Authority has for the better part of 13 years autonomously controlled the disputed territories—aka the West Bank and Gaza. The PA constitution [here, in Arabic] seeks to impose radical Islam and Shari’a law. Since 1993, moreover, PA leaders have wrought destruction—democratic, economic, educational and social—of Palestinian Arab potential to live peacefully and prosper. The PA has allowed Muslim terror to destroy the local Christian community: the PA Christian population, (20 percent after World War II), has plunged since 1993 to less than 1.7 percent.

Since 1967, Israel had built schools, universities, hospitals, water and electrical systems in those territories, in addition to covering health care for Palestinian Arabs. But since the Oslo Accords, Palestinian leadership invested foreign aid of at least $100 billion in arms, terror, graft and corruption, while filling the Swiss, private bank coffers of Yasser Arafat (and undoubtedly, many other Fatah leaders). Despite long pretense of enmity, the Fatah “political party” shares basic goals, and has cooperated completely, with Hamas since at least 1995. In addition to Fatah’s own terror campaign, Arafat’s “moderates” condone and support Hamas terror attacks on Jews and Israel, despite Oslo’s prohibitions against them.

Finally, 96% of the security “Wall” for which Ms. Nye blames Israel is a fence. Sadly, this has caused economic harm to Arabs on its eastern side. Happily, the fence has reduced by more than 75% the number of suicide bombings, shooting attacks, and other attempted terror targeting Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem and within Israel’s Green Line. That was the fence’s sole purpose. Palestinian Arabs can only blame themselves for the fence. But for their determination to destroy Jews and replace Israel with an Islamic Shari’a state “from the river to the sea,” the fence would have been unnecessary.

Even the politically correct mainstream media admit that Hamas seeks to destroy Israel. Mistakenly, they also regard Yasser Arafat’s Fatah “political party,” now headed by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), as “moderate.” However, several articles of Fatah’s 1964 PLO Charter, rewritten in 1968, still incite Israel’s annihilation. Article 15, for example, invokes “liberation of Palestine” as a “national duty to repulse the Zionist…invasion from the great Arab homeland and to purge the Zionist presence….” That is, ethnic cleansing—or genocide.

The PLO never revised its Charter to recognize Israel, as Oslo required, according to former PA foreign minister Farouk Kadoumi (and many others). Moreover, Fatah developed its “staged plan” to conquer Israel in the mid 1970s. As Faysal al-Husseini admitted in 2001, PA “acceptance” of Oslo was all part of this long-planned Palestinian subterfuge. Again, contrary to Ms. Nye’s argument, Palestinians did have autonomy—which they used not as the intended precursor to their own state, but to sow terror and destruction.

Ms. Nye’s name recognition does not confer “secular humanist” sainthood upon her. On the contrary, she is a fundamentalist, who (inadvertently, or not) supports Shari’a (Islamic law) in the disputed territories—and by endorsing the “one state” theology (without objection to the above-cited PA government plans), apparently in Israel as well. For a true secular humanist, please interview the courageous Wafa Sultan.

Best regards–
Alyssa A. Lappen


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Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist. She is currently Managing Editor at the Leeb Group. A former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); she is also a former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991).

She served six of her 12 years at Forbes (1978-1990) as an Associate Editor. Ms. Lappen was also a staff reporter at The New Haven Register (1975-1977).

During a decade as a freelance, her work appeared in Big Peace, Pajamas Media, Front Page Magazine, American Thinker, Right Side News, Family Security Matters, the Washington Times and many other Internet and print journals. Ms. Lappen also contributed to the Terror Finance Blog, among others.

She supports the right of journalists worldwide to write without fear or restriction on politics, governments, international affairs, terrorism, terror financing and religious support for terrorism, among other subjects.

Ms. Lappen is also an accomplished poet. Her first full-length collection, The Minstrel’s Song, was published by Cross-Cultural Communications in April 2015. Her poems have been published in the 2nd 2007 edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and both 2007 issues of Wales‘ award-winning Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Magazine.

Dozens of her poems have appeared in print and online literary journals and books. She won the 2000 annual Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry chapbook award and has received a Harvard Summer Poetry Prize and several honorable mentions.

Alyssa A. Lappen can be reached at alyssaalappen@alyssaalappen.org

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