Last week’s post, “Orwell in Gaza,” drew much response, including an email from Becca Orwell received yesterday. I reprint it here. In the interest of responsible journalism—the hallmark of modern media—I make no editorial comment.
Dear Mr. Perlstein:
I am disturbed, to put it mildly, by your post of July 18. While you reported my interview with Abu Jihad verbatim, you offered no context for my questions and his statements. Or my statements in question form. Or maybe more accurately, my clarifications of his statements, which some people might interpret as statements. Which they shouldn’t, since I am a journalist. Well, you know what I mean!!!
At any rate, context: I was, am and always will be entirely objective in my reporting. So some clarifications you owe to your misled readers…
I no longer attend Passover Seders because I no longer consider myself Jewish but rather an atheist (or am I an agnostic?) and a universalist, identifying with all downtrodden peoples of the world and condemning the bourgeoisie (does anyone still use that word?), which would prevent me from being objective about Hamas’ heroic attacks on Israel in support of its charter to destroy the criminal Israeli state and secure Palestinian self-determination from the Mediterranean to the Jordan. (If you feel this sentence is too long, you may edit it—but without perverting its context!!!)
The chador I wore at the time of the interview was given to me by my husband Mohammad. I never leave our apartment in Gaza City without my chador in order to maintain what you must know is a principle Jewish value—shalom bayit—meaning peace in the home. If a woman isn’t attentive, a home can be a very unpleasant place. (You get my drift.)
I had no hand in writing Abu Jihad’s media release of Tuesday through which he praised American and European airlines for cancelling flights in and out of Ben Gurion Airport as a result of a single rocket fired by Hamas that landed a mile or so away. I can certainly understand Hamas forcing another closure of Ben Gurion, although not this coming Tuesday when I’m flying to Paris to cover Muslim protests against world Zionism—providing, hopefully, that the situation doesn’t calm down before I get there. (You understand that I have a career to think about.)
Never in my Abu Jihad interview did I use the word “genocide,” although I now point to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s remarks last Saturday that, “Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism.” As you would expect, the Jewish media then condemned Mr. Erdogan. (If there’s a difference between 600 deaths and six million, perhaps you’d like to make that understandable for the rest of us who aren’t into semantics.)
Finally, didn’t Denzel Washington call for Black revolution in America “by any means necessary”? Or did you not see that movie? Given that moral authority, almost every people or nation has the right to defend itself against aggression. (Stylistically, do you think “almost” gets buried in that sentence?)
The blog will take a break next Friday and resume on August 8.
Responding is simple. Click on “comments” above then go to the bottom of the article.