I too attended the Steadfast Hope series referred to in the letters to the editor of July 1 and in Guy Gelbart’s “Shaliach’s View” column of June 17. The organizers’ synchronized letter attacks on Israel’s representative, Mr. Gelbart, who responded to the content of the presentations and the manner in which they were conducted, are totally unwarranted. Mr. Gelbart correctly carried out his function, which is to correct falsehoods against his nation and protect it against those who attempt to undermine its existence for political aims.
As proof of the success of their disinformation, one can quote another attendee, Julius Gordon, who accuses Mr. Gelbart of obfuscation and fabrication. He asserts that the first suicide bombing took place in Israel in 1989. What about the Maalot massacre of 25 schoolchildren in 1974 by three Palestinian terrorists? And the 1970 Palestinian hijacking of a Swiss Air flight, which killed 47 passengers and crew? And the murder of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich? And the countless restaurant bombings, bus explosions, bombs at bus stops? These attacks go back 100 years, and if the Palestinians bemoan the wall in the West Bank, and the checkpoints and the searches, there is the reason. I must also correct Mr. Gordon in regard to Hamas missiles: these are not homemade, they are laser guided missiles launched by crews using Google Earth for aim, and their origin is Iran.
Nowhere in the presentations was there any defamation of the Palestinians, only of Israel. I do not call this peacebuilding.