New York, NY

While I respect Robert Scheer’s keen political insight, he makes a glaringly insupportable statement in his last column [“Israel’s Albatross: US Neocons,” posted Aug. 31], which leads me to believe that he is either deluding himself or deliberately ignoring the record about the historical role played by the United States in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to excoriate the Bush Administration.

Scheer writes that “the Bush Administration abandoned the Israel-Palestinian peace process and the United States’ historical role as a good-faith broker between the two sides.” Never in this conflict has the United States been a good-faith broker.

Were it not for American financial and military support by successive administrations since 1967, Israel would not have been able to build settlements in the occupied territories (aggressively pursued even during the Oslo years) and continue to expel Palestinians from their homes, many of whom were already refugees as a result of Israel’s creation in 1948.

Scheer is right in asserting that George W. Bush has lent Ariel Sharon “uncritical support,” but apparently so will Democratic nominee John Kerry if he is elected President. On Meet the Press this past April, Tim Russert asked Kerry whether or not he agreed with President Bush’s recent announcement that Israel can keep parts of the occupied territories. (I was shocked to discover that Bush had the right to cede Palestinian land to Israel without consulting the Palestinians.) Kerry responded with a one-word answer: “yes.” When Russert asked if he agreed “completely” with Bush, Kerry again responded with the same wooden, one-word affirmative: “yes.”

In doing so, Kerry betrayed both the countless American Jews who want to see a decent solution to the conflict as well as key Arab-American and Muslim-American swing voters in states like Ohio and Michigan. US bias in favor of Israel’s expansionists did not begin under George W. Bush, and to characterize it as such is disingenuous.


Portland, Or.

Robert Scheer refers to Israel as a democracy. This is true only if you are a Jew. In Israel there are areas in which only Jews may reside. A state set aside for one ethnic/religious group at the expense of another is not a democracy.


Washington, DC

Instead of complaining about the wall and other methods the Israelis are using to protect themselves, why don’t you offer some solid advice that would actually work to help Israel protect its people against suicide bombers? If you look at the cold hard facts between 2001 and now, you will realize that there has been a great reduction in suicide attacks since this wall has been built. Complain all you want, but those are the facts.



Tucson, Az.

I am an independent voter who plans to vote for neither major candidate this year. I read the more liberal websites as well as conservative ones. Russ Baker’s article on Bush’s National Guard duty is a disgrace [“Why Bush Left Texas,” posted Sept. 14]. You imply that your research leads you to believe drug use and wild partying were the reasons for Bush’s absence. You produce, as fact, third-hand accounts from thirty years ago. The facts are there. You should not use cheap innuendo and inductive reasoning to justify what you think happened. You don’t know what happened. If you did, your article would be worth reading. As it stands now, it’s not.