Thank you for publishing Wilhelmine Bennett’s Sept. 6 letter, “U.S. Is Party To Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine.”

If the Israeli occupation of Palestine is based on solid legal, moral and ethical grounds, and if Israeli policies are fair and just, why are so many American and Israeli scholars and experienced former U.S. diplomats questioning both Israel’s occupation and its policies?

Jimmy Carter gave Israel its only peace treaty with an Arab nation, yet pro-Israel extremists attempted to smear him as an anti-Semite for saying that Israel engages in apartheid-like policies. When he spoke in Iowa City in April, Carter’s words on behalf of a just resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict brought 7,000 cheering Iowans to their feet.

The question of an equitably shared Holy Land, accommodating communities of all three Abrahamic faiths, Jews, Christians and Muslims, seems, like so many other disputes, to come down to a basic philosophical divide. Either one subscribes to the notion of an eye for an eye, or one believes in the ethic of reciprocity: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As Gandhi (a Hindu, by the way) pointed out, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

The ethic of reciprocity allows us to live together in peace and with eyes capable of recognizing our shared values and common goals.

Let’s give peace a chance, before it’s too late.

Michael Gillespie,



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