|Pray for France, but also pray for Israel, where it's Paris everyday|
There's a long tradition of Israel bashing at Letters To The Editor, in The Morning Call. Over the years the writers change, but the tradition continues. Currently, most of the letters are written by Vincent Stravino, of Bethlehem. Let me share a letter exchange between myself and the current editor at the Call.
To the editor, Suffice to say that Bethlehem resident Vincent Stravino is no friend of Israel, his letters always portray that country in the most unflattering of terms. However, his letter which appeared on November 11, was something that would normally only be seen in the Arab press. Despite numerous Israeli civilians being stabbed, Stravino describes Israel response as Nazi-like. He paints Netanyahu and Israel as demanding, pretending and undeserving. Stravino letters are often signed at the end associating him with some organization that sounds sincere about peace, but in reality, are anti-Israel. After years of his letters, I know that Mr. Stravino doesn't have much use for Israel, but why does the Morning Call keep giving him space for repeating the same point of view, over and over? Michael Molovinsky
Michael, Your letter essentially attacks Stravino and doesn't offer any counterpoints to what he said. Thus we will not publish it.
Editor, Letters Page
I had the same exchange with the editor concerning previous letters from Mr. Stravino on Israel. Although, it is indeed normal Morning Call policy that letters should address the subject matter, and not the author, Stravino letters aren't normal, or about facts. Instead, they intentionally invoke negative emotions about Israel and it's people, through adjectives and stereotypes. When the paper prints the repetitive letters of someone motivated by hate, but limits replies to scant factoids, they are inadvertently condoning that hate. Sometimes, motives do matter.
ADDENDUM: To me, the points brought up by the letter writer are just a pretense or excuse to bash Israel. I've been reading such letters long before Netanyahu was prime minister. I've been reading such letters before Israel gained control of the West Bank in 1967, or the Gaza Strip. Putting aside anti-Semitism, hatred of Israel has existed since modern Israel was created in 1948, and so have letters to the Morning Call reflecting it. For that reason, I declined to offer counterpoints to what is just the latest letter, but chose instead to address the larger issue.
reprinted from November of 2015