To the Editor:
I’m not sure why Northwest Asian Weekly, as a periodical primarily serving East Asians, felt the compelling need to wade into the Israeli–Palestinian dispute, unabashedly on the side of the Palestinians [in Jane Mee Wong’s story, “Seattleites rally for Gaza” printed on Jan. 10]. Equally mysterious is the assumption that persons deriving from one side of the Asian land mass (the Far East) would automatically identify with persons thousands of miles away on the other side of that land mass (Arabs in the Middle East) just because they are both “Asian.”
Even if you count South Asians among your readership, there would be far more who identify with Hindus in India who are with Israel than with the Palestinians, as both India and Israel are the continuing targets of Islamic terrorism and brutality.
All I can say is that my Chinese, Mandarin-speaking wife was appalled by the demonstration in Seattle, whose fury derived primarily from Israel’s “audacity” to defend itself from unprovoked missile attacks.
Read up on your history: It was the Chinese of Shanghai, alone among the peoples of the world, that gave European Jews refuge during the Holocaust. This fact, of course, inconveniently cuts against your theory of a monolithic, pan-Asian identity. Unfortunately, world history is not so
— Robert Badner, Seattle
Editor’s note: Mr. Badner is referring to this story that ran in our paper last week, Jan. 10.