Letters: U.S. role in Arab street violence

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I read with dismay the diatribe by Kevin Ozgercin, an assistant professor at SUNY Old Westbury who specializes in Middle Eastern affairs ["Anti-Muslim sentiment isn't helping," Opinion, Sept. 20]. He says that anti-Muslim actions in the United States, like the Quran burning by Pastor Terry Jones and the film "Innocence of Muslims," promote anger in the Arab street and anti-Americanism. The professor almost excuses the murder of the four Americans in Libya as directly provoked, even though holy text burning and film production are protected rights in our country.

Nowhere does the author examine the anti-Jewish and anti-Christian films that run in the Muslim world. Should these lead to murderous attacks on Arab embassies in the United States? Of course not, since all lives are precious.

When Iran's leaders deny the Holocaust or when Saudi Arabia bans the Christian Bible, should the Jewish and Christian street kill an ambassador or two? Of course not!

The actions of Arab mobs run contrary to the general sensibilities of 21st century mankind and must be condemned without any excuses.

Nathan Begelman, Atlantic Beach
 

Kevin Ozgercin's article propagates the canard that it is our relationship with Israel that is fueling the outrageous behavior of Muslims in many countries.

He proffers the solution to the world's ailments: Let the United States temper its relationship with Israel, and all will be well. We will have new friends, and the conflagrations of the Middle East and elsewhere will be doused forever. Pure fantasy!

President Barack Obama reached out to Muslims in his unprecedented trip to Cairo early in his presidency. In fact, as president he has never traveled to Israel, and he has held Israel's feet to the fire on more than one occasion.

Using our relationship with Israel as a causative excuse for the murder of our envoy in Libya and the burning of American and Israeli flags is a smoke screen for telling the truth as it is. No matter what Israel does or does not do, she will always be blamed for the troubles of the world.

Ozgercin is one of many who find it easier to blame Israel for the world's ills than to chastise any of the Arab countries for the shameful behavior they demonstrate toward their own citizens.

Judah Ausubel, Oceanside

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