Here's my response to Thrasher:
Ken Thrasher, in his October 20 response to my letter of October 4, charges me with being "pro-terrorist" and suggests that I am a "Nazi." Thrasher seems neither to have read my letter carefully nor to have attended the Middle East forum to which it refers. On both occasions I argued that Israel's indiscriminate attacks on Lebanese civilians last July and August were not in that country's best interests. I also attempted to show that diplomacy is a preferable policy for Israel (and its chief backer, the US) to adopt in the Middle East rather than one of aggression and war. At the forum I presented an analysis of media accounts of the Israel-Hizbollah conflict, and among other things, I criticized the US media for creating the impression that Israeli forces mainly aimed at military targets, while Hizbollah chiefly attacked civilians. The fact is the reverse: Israeli deaths were mostly military (119, plus 44 civilians) and Lebanese deaths were overwhelmingly civilian (nearly 1200). Because of the diproportionate scale of these casualties, Israel's actions in Lebanon have only served to inflame the crisis and incite greater unrest and anger in the region.
I leave it to the Democrat-Gazette's readers to decide whether calling for diplomacy and raising concerns about excessive civilian casualties makes me "pro-terrorist" and a Nazi sympathizer, and whether aggressive defenders of Israel like Mr. Thrasher really promote that country's best interests in either the long or the short run.