An open letter to the Chicago Tribune

By

Reader Steven Peck has given us permission to publish as an open letter his message sent to the editors of the Chicago Tribune, which they have so far declined to publish in their own pages. It follows below:

The Chicago Tribune needs to fire Don Wycliff immediately and publicly apologize to its readers for his comments in his February 2 column. He mocks the notion that Hamas is a terrorist organization, considered so by the United States, the European Union and the Tribune Editorial board, by sarcastically calling them just supposedly "bad". He implies that because 60% of the Palestinian electorate voted for them that their platform calling for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews therefore must be legitimate and our government should recognize that stance.

What their victory means in that regard is that at least 60% of Palestinians didn't find the platform abhorrent enough  enough to have voted for one of the third party alternatives if they wanted to throw out Fatah. Not to mention that Hamas should not have been allowed to run in the election in the first place under Annex 2 of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which bans parties with racist ideologies who promote their agenda through violent and undemocratic means. Israel bans the Kach Party and similar parties are banned all through Europe. Thus, this wasn't a proper election despite two Tribune editorials touting it as democracy in action.

Wycliff is not just against specific Israeli government policies, which are legitimate subjects of criticism. He is against Israel itself and against Jews. I have heard him speak in person and I have read his columns (which I have written in about to complain) where he considers Jews to be foreign usurpers in their own homeland. 

Wycliff laments that not enough Palestinians and Hamas supporters are given space to defend their actions and positions. He is thus saying the Tribune should give space to terrorists to legitimize their acts of murdering innocent civilians and that there should be discourse about whether Israel has a right to exist at all as a nation. Since Israel is the only country on earth whose right to exist is questioned, this is just outright racism. Giving space to people so they can justify genocide is not the same as printing the Republican and Democratic perspective on an issue.

As to his claim the Tribune overwhelmingly publishes the Israel perspective on the conflict, it is obvious Wycliff doesn't read his own paper. He cites last Sunday's Commentary Page having two articles by Jewish writers. Emily Hauser, the "American—Israeli peace activist" from Oak Park, who is published regularly in the Tribune, is as representative of the Israeli viewpoint as Cindy Sheehan is of the American viewpoint. Many other Tribune columns written by Jews fall into this same category.

On Friday, February 3, there was a column by Raja Kamal, who definitely did not sound like he was an Israeli or Jew, discussing the election from a Palestinian perspective. Don't tell me Wycliff had absolutely no idea that column was going to run the next day after his. And then on Saturday Joel Greenberg had another of his front page feature stories sympathetic to Palestinians. I don't recall any similar front page stories by him covering the Israeli point of view. Greenberg even refuses to call Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Al—Aksa Brigades as terrorists except in third party references to them. So gangs that blow up schoolchildren and restaurant patrons are only militants, the same designation he gives to Jewish civil protesters. That, Mr. Wycliff, is a definite pro—Palestinian bias in the Tribune's news reporting.

The Tribune also has several Palestinians who are regular contributors to the Commentary Page such as Ali Abunimah. I have seen several columns which have pressed for the elimination of the Jewish State. How can you have a public editor who either doesn't know what's written in his own paper or deliberately ignores it for his own agenda? He is advocating giving the Hamas agenda full legitimacy in the paper. Their Charter is rife with hate speech and incitement to murder. Both are criminal and are not protected by freedom of speech, never mind standards of decency.

I don't remember reading any stories by David Duke or Matt Hale on Martin Luther King Day. Will the Tribune, with Wycliff's blessing, give space to racist groups in this country who advocate the expulsion of all minorities? After all, they believe they have a legitimate point of view. If Wycliif would allow things to be written about Jews that he wouldn't tolerate being written about blacks in the paper, then this further demonstrates his ant—Semitic beliefs.

Wycliff's comments cannot be protected by the disclaimer "The views expressed are his own." What he wrote clearly shows he has anti—Semitic sympathies. You cannot dismiss me by saying that I am reading more into what he will claim he actually wrote. You employ him not only as a writer but as Public Editor. You must take immediate public action regarding his conduct. My subscription money should not be going to pay the salary of a man who is sympathetic to a terrorist group who would like nothing better than to see me and my family dead.

2 07 06

Reader Steven Peck has given us permission to publish as an open letter his message sent to the editors of the Chicago Tribune, which they have so far declined to publish in their own pages. It follows below:

The Chicago Tribune needs to fire Don Wycliff immediately and publicly apologize to its readers for his comments in his February 2 column. He mocks the notion that Hamas is a terrorist organization, considered so by the United States, the European Union and the Tribune Editorial board, by sarcastically calling them just supposedly "bad". He implies that because 60% of the Palestinian electorate voted for them that their platform calling for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews therefore must be legitimate and our government should recognize that stance.

What their victory means in that regard is that at least 60% of Palestinians didn't find the platform abhorrent enough  enough to have voted for one of the third party alternatives if they wanted to throw out Fatah. Not to mention that Hamas should not have been allowed to run in the election in the first place under Annex 2 of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which bans parties with racist ideologies who promote their agenda through violent and undemocratic means. Israel bans the Kach Party and similar parties are banned all through Europe. Thus, this wasn't a proper election despite two Tribune editorials touting it as democracy in action.

Wycliff is not just against specific Israeli government policies, which are legitimate subjects of criticism. He is against Israel itself and against Jews. I have heard him speak in person and I have read his columns (which I have written in about to complain) where he considers Jews to be foreign usurpers in their own homeland. 

Wycliff laments that not enough Palestinians and Hamas supporters are given space to defend their actions and positions. He is thus saying the Tribune should give space to terrorists to legitimize their acts of murdering innocent civilians and that there should be discourse about whether Israel has a right to exist at all as a nation. Since Israel is the only country on earth whose right to exist is questioned, this is just outright racism. Giving space to people so they can justify genocide is not the same as printing the Republican and Democratic perspective on an issue.

As to his claim the Tribune overwhelmingly publishes the Israel perspective on the conflict, it is obvious Wycliff doesn't read his own paper. He cites last Sunday's Commentary Page having two articles by Jewish writers. Emily Hauser, the "American—Israeli peace activist" from Oak Park, who is published regularly in the Tribune, is as representative of the Israeli viewpoint as Cindy Sheehan is of the American viewpoint. Many other Tribune columns written by Jews fall into this same category.

On Friday, February 3, there was a column by Raja Kamal, who definitely did not sound like he was an Israeli or Jew, discussing the election from a Palestinian perspective. Don't tell me Wycliff had absolutely no idea that column was going to run the next day after his. And then on Saturday Joel Greenberg had another of his front page feature stories sympathetic to Palestinians. I don't recall any similar front page stories by him covering the Israeli point of view. Greenberg even refuses to call Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Al—Aksa Brigades as terrorists except in third party references to them. So gangs that blow up schoolchildren and restaurant patrons are only militants, the same designation he gives to Jewish civil protesters. That, Mr. Wycliff, is a definite pro—Palestinian bias in the Tribune's news reporting.

The Tribune also has several Palestinians who are regular contributors to the Commentary Page such as Ali Abunimah. I have seen several columns which have pressed for the elimination of the Jewish State. How can you have a public editor who either doesn't know what's written in his own paper or deliberately ignores it for his own agenda? He is advocating giving the Hamas agenda full legitimacy in the paper. Their Charter is rife with hate speech and incitement to murder. Both are criminal and are not protected by freedom of speech, never mind standards of decency.

I don't remember reading any stories by David Duke or Matt Hale on Martin Luther King Day. Will the Tribune, with Wycliff's blessing, give space to racist groups in this country who advocate the expulsion of all minorities? After all, they believe they have a legitimate point of view. If Wycliif would allow things to be written about Jews that he wouldn't tolerate being written about blacks in the paper, then this further demonstrates his ant—Semitic beliefs.

Wycliff's comments cannot be protected by the disclaimer "The views expressed are his own." What he wrote clearly shows he has anti—Semitic sympathies. You cannot dismiss me by saying that I am reading more into what he will claim he actually wrote. You employ him not only as a writer but as Public Editor. You must take immediate public action regarding his conduct. My subscription money should not be going to pay the salary of a man who is sympathetic to a terrorist group who would like nothing better than to see me and my family dead.

2 07 06