To the Editors of The Crimson:
The massacre in Jerusalem on Monday, October 8, is a sobering reminder of the violence and oppression of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip since 1967. Occupation is wrong everywhere, be it Israeli or Iraqi.
We believe The Harvard Crimson had a stong bias favoring the Israeli occupation in its article reporting the massacre.
First, the sub-headline "Witnesses Say Massacre Sparked After Stone-throwing Incident" implies that the massacre was caused by stone-throwing Palestinians. This renders the extreme provocation by the extremist Jewish group "Temple Mount Faithful" marginal in the issue.
Three thousand Palestinians had gathered at the site to protest against this group marching to lay a symbolic foundation stone for the third Jewish Temple in the place of two Muslim mosques. This group had previously applied for permission from Israeli authorities to demolish the two holy mosques in order to build the temple and were denied permission.
Next, the site of the massacre which you call in your article "Temple Mount" in reference to Jewish history, is also the site of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosques, two of the holiest sanctuaries for Muslims who have prayed there for over 1200 years. Your article virtually ignores the significance of this location to Muslims. Instead the article focuses on the Jewish worshipers at the Wailing Wall who are mentioned six separate times.
The article also mentions that 13 dead were brought to Mukassed Hospital in Arab East Jerusalem but fails to report that the hospital was tear-gas bombed and half its wards forcefully evacuated by Israeli police. Medical aid was also prevented from reaching the site of the massacre and two nurses were killed when they tried to provide medical care to injured civilians.
We believe a strong bias in The Crimson's reporting deliberately misrepresents events in the Middle East. The article we mention is not an isolated example. We demand intellectual integrity in our Harvard press. We call for the end of all violence and occupation. We denounce any aggression against civilians no matter what their religious beliefs are. Rhoda Kanaaneh '92 Society for Arab Students
Editor's Note: The story to which the author refers was written by an Associated Press reporter, not by a member of the Crimson staff. The headline, however, was written by The Crimson.