THE FACTS INCLUDE HAMAS’ ATROCITIES
It is certainly fair for Josh Fattal in his Nov. 30 Eugene Weekly piece (“The Facts on Palestine”) to criticize Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and denounce the Netanyahu government’s conduct of its war against Hamas.
However, it is deeply troubling that Fattal’s account says not a single word about Hamas and the atrocities it committed on Oct. 7. According to Amnesty International, Hamas “flagrantly violated international law and displayed a chilling disregard for human life.” The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court cited “calculated cruelty” by Hamas that “represents some of the most serious intentional crimes that shock the conscience of humanity.”
This glaring omission in Fattal’s piece reflects an unfortunate tendency by some progressives to ignore Hamas’ reprehensible actions as they criticize Israeli policy and support the Palestinian cause.
In an Oct. 16 statement, more than two dozen Israel-based progressives and peace activists powerfully admonished this kind of thinking: “We emphasize: There is no contradiction between staunchly opposing the Israeli subjugation and occupation of Palestinians and unequivocally condemning brutal acts of violence against innocents. We call on our peers on the left to return to a politics based on humanistic and universal principles [and] to take a clear stance against human rights abuse of any form.”
Fattal and other cease-fire advocates would do well to consider Sen. Jeff Merkley’s thoughtful advocacy of a ceasefire that reflects these sentiments. It combines an unequivocal denunciation of Hamas with concern about Israel’s bombing campaign and a call for “immediate concrete steps” toward creating a lasting peace.
BUT EUGENE NEEDS ASTROLOGY!
I understand y’all are trying to slim down the pages of the Weekly, for cost-cutting reasons. And last week I saw that only a few signs of the horoscope were printed. Thankfully, I’m an Aries, but it wasn’t fair to the others.
And this week, no horoscope? At all? Don’t you know this is Eugene, right? How are folks going to be able to navigate their lives without Rob Brezsny interpreting the alignment of the planets? First we lost Walter Mercado years back, but now no horoscope in the Weekly? The city is definitely going to stray further away than it already has.
I’ll negotiate. Can we trade the Sudoku for the horoscope? I think it’s a fair trade.
SAVAGE WENT OVER THE TOP
I have lived in Eugene for 30 years and always enjoyed the Weekly with its alternative quirky style. However, over the Thanksgiving holiday the regular back-page advice column Savage Love’s content was absolutely disgusting, and in my opinion should not have been allowed to be included in your paper.
I consider myself to be open minded and generally am not bothered by alternative sexual content. However, reading about secretly feeding semen to family members in a casserole is entirely uninteresting and makes me want to stop reading your publication. I for one am offended and disappointed and can not be the only citizen who feels the same.
Michele Messere Legg
ELECTRIC VEHICLES ARE JUST A START
I was happy to read in Eugene Weekly that Arcimoto is doing better. I like their electric vehicles since, being lighter, they use less energy than a regular car.
But beyond individuals’ conserving electricity, the world needs national and international government policy fighting global warming. The Sept. 27, 2023, Financial Times reports that the International Energy Agency estimates that consumption of fossil fuel must decline by a quarter by 2030 to prevent a rise in global temperature by more than 1.5 degrees C.
A bill before Congress, the Energy Innovation and Climate Dividend Act (H.R. 5744), provides an example of strong possible action. The legislation would send price signals throughout the U.S. economy, causing changes in the behavior of even people who do not believe in human caused global warming. A rebate would protect lower income households.
COLOR ME MILTON
Milton: well-hated Simpsons character and lesser-known Eugene grungy space metal band that deserves a listen — or nine.
That’s not fair. I’ve only seen these cats three times. First at a nice, kid-friendly University of Oregon house show on a midsummer evening. Next, at a house show where I got as toasty as I had in my mid-20s — twice as muddy, too, falling twice into the slick soil of the backyard organic onion patch. Last, I saw them on Dec. 3 at John Henry’s. I had a blast every time.
With showers of ’90s Seattle grunge, bass line that slaps you in the face and percussive, adamantium spine — dashed with Pink Floyd — I couldn’t recommend them more. It’s hard to know if they are going to (proverbial) “places,” but the spaces they play are spaces any music fan should be.
Vocals were featured in only one song, and the tenor voice of the lead guitarist/singer dances atop the theatrical slapping of the bass and driving drums, making one hope more words are put to an otherwise instrumental set that stands on its own.
In short: Milton’s dreamy space-metal band does more with three pieces than most basic-brand rock bands could hope to do with four.
Gods-damn, they’re fun!
Online Extra Letters
DON’T IGNORE THE VIOLENCE AND CRUELTY OF HAMAS
In a highly biased opinion piece published by Eugene Weekly last week (Nov. 30), Josh Fattal spewed out the usual Palestinian propaganda adopted by those who don’t bother seeking out the truth about the Middle East, past and present.
Fattal released his anti-Israel, and sometimes anti-American, vitriol with the stated goal being a total cease fire in the Middle East. But his anger only promotes more violence, including right here in Eugene. Since Israel’s Gaza infiltration, our local community has seen an increase in antisemitic acts inspired by words just like Fattal’s.
Meanwhile, Fattal says nothing about the terrorists. Not a word about how Hamas carried out its Oct. 7 plan, intentionally targeting Jewish civilians, including children, for rape, murder and torture. While no one should be happy about Israel’s current infiltration into Gaza, with all the resulting death and destruction, no one should forget that it is only happening because of Hamas’ brutal attack. Israel had no intention of entering Gaza until Hamas attacked.
Fattal, however, has no interest in providing an accurate assessment of the Gaza war. For example, he writes, “Israel’s claims that a misfired rocket from Islamic Jihad bombed a hospital has been proven false.” No, the falsehood is his. It took me mere seconds to find CNN and NPR reports which confirmed via their own independent research that Israel was not the responsible party.
And while Fattal attempts to support his case with biased sources such as Beirut-based TV channel Al Mayadeen, even his (presumably) more objective sources clearly have questionable motives. Fattal referred to a prominent Israeli-American scholar as saying, “Genocide is staring us in the face.” Referring to Israel as the culprits? Wrong again, Mr. Fattal. Only Hamas endorses genocide.
Read the Hamas charter, written by the terrorists themselves. Unabashedly, they state their goal is to fight and kill the Jews. There is no negotiated settlement possible. Jihad (a holy war) is the only answer.
Imagine yourself in essentially the same scenario as Israel: You are given a home to live in by the government. In 1948 the United Nations granted Israel its land while the Palestinians rejected the U.N. offer to have their own country. Your next door neighbor thinks the house should be theirs. They publish a document saying they will kill you, your wife, your children. They won’t stop till you’re all dead and they get the house. They’ll attack you while holding some of their relatives in front of their bodies. They’ll attack you on your most important holidays when you’re least prepared.
Care to ignore that the way Fattal wants Israel to ignore Hamas?
It is well known and frequently acknowledged that if Hamas were to put down its weapons, there would be peace. If Israel put down its weapons, there would be no Israel.
NO U.S. ARMS FOR ISRAEL
Any innocent life lost to violence is a tragedy. The programmed killing by the Israel Defense Forces, this time in southern Gaza, as announced in Tel Aviv by Lt. Col. Jonathon Conricus, international spokesperson for the IDF, that will kill hundreds more innocent Palestinian children and adults, is more than a tragedy, it is a war crime. It is not self defense. It is savagery indistinguishable from the Gestapo’s killing of innocent civilians during World War II as revenge for partisan attacks.
If a person provides the rope or ties the noose, knowing that it is going to be used to lynch a Black person, that person is a participant in and guilty of a racially motivated killing. Any U.S. Senator or Representative who votes to approve arms for Israel at this point is knowingly providing the means for racially motivated killing by Israel’s government and its extremist settlers.
The lucrative pipeline from U.S. arms manufacturers, through the U.S. Congress and administration, to the extremist right wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, must be stopped. Bob Dylan’s song “Masters of War” is a reminder of what is at stake.
JEFF MERKLEY SUPPORTS PEACE AGREEMENT
Sen. Jeff Merkley finally came around to supporting a ceasefire and temporary peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. What took him so long?
Was he comparing the support and power of AIPAC and his Jewish constituents versus his morality, and crimes against humanity? Is it possible that Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Val Hoyle will also support a ceasefire and refrain from supporting Israel’s “right to defend itself”?
SUPPORT FOR PALESTINE IS UNCALLED FOR
In an article by Emerson Brady, EW published an account of a local demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas. Sen. Jeff Merkley likewise called for a ceasefire in Gaza, only he wanted Hamas to first release all hostages and to surrender to Israel — something highly unlikely to happen.
There have been demonstrations for the Palestinians at the University of Oregon recently, and others across the country. The best known was in New York City on Oct.8, one day after the horrific massacre by Hamas of 1,200 Israeli civilians.
The People’s Forum, which sponsored the demonstration, called for New Yorkers to: “… [S]tand with the people of Palestine, who have the right to resist apartheid, occupation and oppression.” The governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, disagreed. “I condemn plans to rally in Times Square tomorrow in support of the perpetrators of these horrific actions. The planned rally is abhorrent and morally repugnant.” (Newsweek, “New York Palestinian Support Rally Condemned by Governor: ‘Repugnant,’” Oct. 8, 2023).
I agree with Gov. Hochul. The mass murder of civilians violates every tenet of civilization. Calls for support of Palestinians under these circumstances are uncalled for.
It must be understood that urban warfare in a densely populated urban area such as the Gaza strip is not possible without a high number of civilian casualties. This is especially true in Gaza, where Hamas has embedded its military apparatus underneath hospitals, inside mosques, schools and other civilian locations.