Categorized | Letters to the Editor

Letter: Gaza article doesn’t tell the whole story

To the Editor:

I’m not sure why Northwest Asian Weekly, as a periodical primarily serving East Asians, felt the compelling need to wade into the Israeli–Palestinian dispute, unabashedly on the side of the Palestinians [in Jane Mee Wong’s story, “Seattleites rally for Gaza” printed on Jan. 10]. Equally mysterious is the assumption that persons deriving from one side of the Asian land mass (the Far East) would automatically identify with persons thousands of miles away on the other side of that land mass (Arabs in the Middle East) just because they are both “Asian.”

Even if you count South Asians among your readership, there would be far more who identify with Hindus in India who are with Israel than with the Palestinians, as both India and Israel are the continuing targets of Islamic terrorism and brutality.

All I can say is that my Chinese, Mandarin-speaking wife was appalled by the demonstration in Seattle, whose fury derived primarily from Israel’s “audacity” to defend itself from unprovoked missile attacks.

Read up on your history: It was the Chinese of Shanghai, alone among the peoples of the world, that gave European Jews refuge during the Holocaust. This fact, of course, inconveniently cuts against your theory of a monolithic, pan-Asian identity. Unfortunately, world history is not so
simple.

— Robert Badner, Seattle

Editor’s note: Mr. Badner is referring to this story that ran in our paper last week, Jan. 10.

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One Response to “Letter: Gaza article doesn’t tell the whole story”

  1. w says:

    The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is a newsworthy item and as such, the NW Asian Weekly has an obligation to report on it. (Is the Weekly supposed to review only Asian cuisines otherwise?) The article title, “Seattleites rally for Gaza”, is a summary of fact and does not in anyway indicate allegiance to one cause or another. However, Mr. Badner cannot reasonably expect the world to remain disengaged from pictures of dead Palestinian children and a bombed-out UN school while doing nothing to stop the bombings. It is this same humanity that had once sent people fighting against Hitler, and we will at all costs prevent another Holocaust from happening again. Our ability for outrage against grossly inhumane acts, regardless of the identities of the perpetrators, is our only saving grace and Mr. Badner cannot deny us that.
    Please be mindful of stereotypes. Not all Asians hold the same beliefs and not all Muslims are terrorists. If we have learned anything from the Holocaust, it is that stereotyping is a dangerous proposition.

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