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Right to Return





Letter to the New York Times
on Erlanger's Mistakes



Dear Editor:

Steven Erlanger's piece claiming near universal support in Israel for the attacks on Lebanon is woefully inaccuarate. He says rallies against the war have attracted only a few hundred pacifists. That's contradicted by Ha'aretz, the Israeli paper of record, which reported that on August 5 more than 5,000 rallied in Tel Aviv against the Lebanon war.

Erlanger contrasts this war to Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon saying that sentiment at the time saw the war as a matter of choice while this one is seen to be a matter of "survival". Actually in the first months of the 1982 Lebanon war there were exactly the same claims made about existential threats to the country. Israeli anti-war protests were miniscule and met with enormous hostility.

Erlanger's biggest error, however, is to totally ignore the non-Jewish citizens of Israel, some 17% of the population. Is it believable that Israeli Palestinians widely support the war?

Sincerely,
Stanley Heller
Chairperson
Middle East Crisis Committee
New Haven, Connecticut