The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday May 26th

Letter: ​Do not obscure the truth in narratives


Joseph Tillotson (’66) writes about the Israeli-Palestinian situation, asking The Daily Tar Heel to provide the “true facts” involved. His own letter, however, uses statements that themselves obscure truth. He says in 1948 Israel destroyed villages and “forcibly evicted” 700,000 Palestinians.

He ignores the fact that Britain controlled the area; with their mandate expiring in 1948, they looked to the UN, which proposed a split between Arab and Jewish states. Arab countries rejected this idea. Israel declared its independence; several days later Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria attacked. Israel prevailed. Many Arabs left Israel, and yes, many were forced out.

Simultaneously, Jews living in Arab countries were attacked and evicted too (nobody talks about that). Mr. Tillotson wants UNC students to help solve one of “the most egregious human rights violations in our lifetime.”

This is rather sweeping. Israel is not pure, but neither is China, which has occupied and repressed Tibet for 60 years. Mr. Tillotson says the Palestinian issue “motivates students on California campuses.” He undoubtedly refers to BDS demonstrations, which often rely on misinformation, intimidation and harassment. Their actions have spilled over into outright anti-Semitism, causing Jewish students and others to feel unsafe. Thankfully, FLAME, TIP and others are fighting back with accurate information.

By the way, today about 2 million Arabs live in Israel, 20 percent of the population; they have civil rights far greater than they would — especially true for women — in any Arab country. No, Mr. Tillotson, we do not need BDS tactics or their half-truths in Chapel Hill.

Jane Gabi

Class of ’77

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