"It's Not Just Hamas"

By Norah Vincent

Published December 13, 2001 9:50PM (EST)

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I am a Palestinian man, a graduate of Oxford University and Columbia University in the United States, married to an American wife and father of two.

I am not a "bloodthirsty bigot," nor do I want to "exterminate the Jews." I would simply like the Israeli occupation to end, to be free and to live with the human and civil rights that every person strives for.

The racist article by Vincent strives to demonize all Palestinians.

-- Mark Khano

Vincent's article "It's Not Just Hamas" is as hate-filled and empty a diatribe as I've ever seen in the mainstream press. Beyond referring to Palestinians as animals, it lacks any basis in reality, eschewing fact-based analysis for shallow and dangerous generalizations. I have always had respect for the way Salon provides more in-depth and nuanced reporting than the usual press, but all that respect is lost with this article. You should be ashamed that you published this vile rant.

-- Josh Zinner

At last, a Salon correspondent who has the clarity of vision, and the balls, to point out that Emperor Arafat has no clothes. Everybody at Salon should sit at her feet.

Preach it, sister. There should only be thousands more like you.

-- Earl Hartman

The problem in the Middle East is that both Jews and Muslims are becoming entrenched in a hatred typified by Norah Vincent's foul rant. If no one in the Middle East is willing to empathize with the "enemy," I sincerely hope that their God(s) grant both groups their wishes in respect to each other.

-- David Gonzalez

As a Christian Arab-American and medical student, I find the points to be far too simplistic, as racism often is. How could a writer allege that parents of a particular group do not love their children the way other people do, that parents raise their children to kill themselves? Furthermore, Vincent implies the Palestinian kids who throw rocks at Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories deserve to be shot in the head. As someone who is dedicated to saving life, I find this callous view shocking. And let us not ignore the fact that most of the victims of violence during this intifada have been Palestinians who have been killed or wounded on occupied territory.

I look to Salon for educated, intelligent, analytical journalism. I really do not think that you would let any other ethnic group be described in such a racist way. This type of writing is dangerous, not because it stimulates thought, but because it stimulates hate. Writing such as this is the work one would expect from a racist society (i.e., Nazi Germany, U.S. pre-integration, apartheid South Africa), not a democratic one.

-- Rana Malek

Norah Vincent's article on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict struck a resounding chord with this reader. While terrorist-apologists will surely wring their hands and respond with the typical victimhood arguments (occupied lands, blah, blah), Vincent's passionate and articulate piece is just plain right. Thanks for publishing a politically incorrect but morally responsible viewpoint on this deadly situation.

-- Laurence Singerman

Norah Vincent's article making general statements and accusations against a whole nation and its culture is extremely racist and offensive in the eyes of any decent human being. Had someone said that Jews are greedy, she would have screamed "anti-Semitism."

It's shocking for me to see such a racist article published on your Web site. It's a shame that Salon.com is allowing someone to demonize and dehumanize a whole nation. This is not the Salon.com that I know and respect.

I kindly ask you to take down this article and keep Salon.com from becoming a forum for racists and bigots.

-- Nihaya Dugan

In Norah Vincent's piece on the Palestinian culture of violence, the author makes a lot of familiar arguments. But like all single-minded bigots, she ignores as many facts as she cites. Yes, I'm calling her a bigot. Bigots characterize entire populations with sweeping generalizations. That's what Vincent is doing when writing of Palestinians raising their children to be terrorists. That's what Vincent is doing by predicting what would happen if the tables were turned.

Vincent then holds up Israel as a peace-loving, civilized society. Is it the habit of a society ruled by civil law and respect for human life to ignore every U.N. resolution? Is it the habit of such a society to militarily occupy its neighbors? Do such countries force hundreds of thousands from their homes and into refugee camps? Are the Israelis heroes because they have not completely exterminated the Palestinians? That seems to be what the article implies. I guess that makes most of the world into heroes.

I, too, abhor terrorism and the seemingly never-ending cycle of Mideast violence. I won't defend or applaud those who use terror as a weapon. But that doesn't mean that terrorism is the only crime. The price of peace is complex. Once the occupied territories are completely and unconditionally restored to the Palestinians, then the two sides can come to the table as they should; as equals. Until then, we face the continuing battle between state-sponsored repression and the wrongful, desperate actions of the hopeless; a battle between those who have peace to gain and those who have nothing left to lose.

-- Klaus Schuller

It was so refreshing to read Norah Vincent's article about the Mideast. Finally, the unvarnished truth, without the p.c. gloss. She wrote what many think but are afraid to voice publicly, and she reminded me why I always read Salon.

-- Hillel Besdin

Right on, Norah Vincent, for having the guts to tell it like it really is! "It's Not Just Hamas" was right on target.

I consider myself a left-of-center Democrat, but I am so tired of the Western political correctness, the way we are pretending that Islam is such a wonderful, peaceful religion. Their treatment of women and people of other faiths sickens me. You don't see Jews loading themselves up with explosives and blowing up women and children in a cafe. Jews are not taking over airplanes and flying them into buildings. The Palestinians do not deserve a state of their own, at least not until they stop raising their children to be mindless, murdering robots. It sickens me to think of all of the money and resources we pour into that region while our own children go to public schools that are crumbling due to lack of funding.

-- Kathryn Hansen

Vincent is the most specious, mendacious Israeli apologist you've managed to indecently splatter the screen with lately. Every charge this stupid, specious shrew made against the Palestinians is better made against us and the Jews.

I especially loved the part about Palestinians playing the "victimhood" card. For over 50 fucking years we have had to listen to an interminable, high-pitched whine about the Holocaust (perpetrated by the lionized Western, non-Muslim culture) behind the smoke screen of which these insufferable hypocrites have had their own little holocaust going against the Palestinians who, the world decided a half century ago, should bear the brunt of taking care of their "Jewish problem" for them.

Particularly odious is her utterly unacceptable attempt at slandering the whole of Muslim culture in order to sharpen her crude, vicious and transparently fraudulent justification of further Zionist brutality.

-- Pete Rorvik

As a human rights activist who has worked for years on Middle East issues, I regularly come across all kinds of racist, hate-filled articles masquerading as journalism in the U.S. press. The hallmarks are always the same: dehumanization of Arabs/Muslims/Palestinians as barbaric animals, rejection of their legitimate human rights to freedom and equality, justification of the most vicious and murderous policies, reversal of oppressor-victim relations. It was therefore no surprise to see all these commonplace tricks of the trade in Norah Vincent's article, "It's Not Just Hamas." But in Salon.com? Now that was a surprise.

-- Roger Normand

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