To the Editors of The Crimson:
The distortions presented in Chris Richard son's Letter to the Editor (March 15) were a clear reflection of his failure to understand the reasons behind United States support for Israel as well as his gross insensitivity to the unique relationship between American Jewry and Israel. It is incumbent upon me to set the record straight on both accounts.
Since Israel's creation, her interests and those of the U.S. have coincided. This is no less the case today. Mr. Richardson's allegations referring to Israel as an outpost of U.S. imperialism is reminiscent of those who popularized the "Protocols of The Elders of Zion," the forgery designed to "prove" the existence of a world-wide Jewish conspiracy. On this account, he is as perceptive as General George Brown was in stating that the Jews own the banks and newspapers in this country.
No one should be naive enough to think that the disappearance of Israel would dissolve the Arab oil cartel, thereby dissipating the Arab threat to the economic stability of the U.S. and the entire world. Israel is the excuse, not the cause. Mr. Richardson seems to believe that it is in the interests of Americans not to oppose what he ambiguously refers to as "the Arab peoples." Does he mean that Americans should not oppose Arab nations whose oil imperialism has weakened the U.S. economy, and therefore her security? Does he mean that Americans should acquiesce to the policies of Arab nations which have openly avowed their dedication to the military, economic, and political obliteration of Israel and her people? If so, then I most vehemently suggest that Americans reject such a misconstrued explanation of the Mideast situation.
And so, at a time when the warring Arab nations continue to receive tons of Soviet war material for use against Israel, when Arab nations have expanded their economic boycott of Israel to include all companies doing business with her, when the United Nations sees fit to exclude Israel from UNESCO, when, in other words, the Arabs have used their oil power to perpetuate a calculated scheme to isolate Israel in the world community, one comes to the realization that the U.S. should offer Israel the vital means with which she may insure her survival. Such is the case that U.S. support for Israel coincides with the genuine interests of the U.S. in the Mideast, while at the same time, fulfilling a moral commitment to a nation fighting desperately to protect its very existence.
I was very perplexed at Mr. Richardson's criticism of the Israel Emergency Fund, a voluntary organization which solicits donations for strictly non-military aid for Israel. I cannot understand why he criticizes a charitable organization which strives to enable Israel to continue the absorption of thousands of Soviet Jewish refugees and provides social welfare aid, such as medical care, education, and care for the elderly. Omnipresent threats to her existence necessitate almost unbearable, yet undeniable demands on Israel's governmental budget. Nevertheless, she has remained committed to welcoming the Soviet Jewish immigrants and providing decent care for her citizens. This is made possible through the humanitarian contributions of Americans to the Israel Emergency Fund, an organization toward which Mr. Richardson has directed misinformed and undeserved criticism. Perhaps he might consider directing criticism at those Arab nations which seek Israel's destruction, thereby necessitating the need for an Israel Emergency Fund.
It is a pity that Mr. Richardson felt compelled to present an argument emergent in a political rhetoric not in tune with the Mideast realities. It is such misrepresentations and distoritions of the U.S. role in the Mideast which demand critical examination and unequivocal rejection. Steve Schwarzberg '76 Coordinator, Harvard U. Jewish Student Appeal