Al-Ahram Weekly On-line   Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
2 - 8 November 2000
Issue No. 506
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 Issues navigation Current Issue Previous Issue Back Issues

Seeing is believing

Sir- The developments described by Naguib Mahfouz as "Simply unbelievable" (Al-Ahram Weekly, 19-25 October) are not so unbelievable when we take into account the influence of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington and the power of Zionists in the American media. The majority of the US population absorbs the drivel that is fed to them on the evening news at face value.

After experiencing the OPEC oil embargo in the '70s -- which was portrayed as "oil shortages" (the word embargo was never used by the media) -- I am convinced that the majority of the US's people will believe anything that is broadcast on TV.

It is striking how in the event of any development in the Middle East in which Israeli actions may appear less than favourable to the American public, the US media starts to show widely advertised programmes about the Holocaust, diverting attention from occurrences in the Middle East.

Few Americans realise that Israel is by far the greatest recipient of US foreign aid, mostly military.

Mahfouz's lament "simply unbelievable" is not so accurate in view of the effectiveness of this refined and very well coordinated Zionist propaganda machine.

Hendrik Tans
Newbury, MA

They shall overcome

Sir-The song "Jerusalem Will Return to Us" brings to mind another song: "We Shall Overcome," sung at the time of Martin Luther King. The position of the Palestinians is no different from the blacks in America pre-Martin Luther King, and to some extent today. The suppression and second-class status are clearly evident, especially to any American living in the Middle East.

I cannot believe that Americans have been aware of this. It is not a position that my countrymen would support, but with the news media covering the existence of the poor Palestinians and the horrible willful Israeli slaughter of the innocent youth of Palestine, it is my firm belief that the American position will change from blind support of Israel.

The United States is a great and powerful country and must protect itself with alliances, some of which are unsavoury. But it is too far afield from American principles to continue supporting an Israeli government which has all the trappings of fascism.

I will certainly buy the Palestinian benefit tape and ask my children to do the same.

I can write letters to the American government and so can everyone else. Just as in a song, if the voice is loud and clear enough it will be heard. The Palestinians will overcome too.

Martin H Platt

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