Letters to the Editor
Universities Show Lack of Support for Israel
Mr. Stephen D. Fried’s article (“Why the U.S. and Israel Are Strong Allies,” Oct. 23, 2007) was a strong defense of the U.S.-Israel alliance, and written in a mature and elegant prose style. However, I think the problem faced by Israel and its American supporters is in our universities. Strong anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian views are expressed at many universities today, including MIT. The American and European left has decided that corrupt, tyrannical regimes run by Islamic fundamentalists are PC, while American and Israeli democracies are treated with contempt.
Ralph Wagner ’55
Fried Column Inaccurate
Stephen D. Fried’s column on U.S.-Israel cooperation (“Why the U.S. and Israel Are Strong Allies,” Oct. 23, 2007) contains an error. He writes that in 1984, 8,000 Ethiopian Jews, known then as Falasha, were rescued from Sudan and flown to Israel. He goes on to say that they were in danger of being killed by some para-military gang, and that their salvation was accomplished with U.S. taxpayer funds.
Actually, no taxpayer funds were used. All the money for the rescue came from private contributions by American Jews. Irving Kessler and Neale Katz of the United Israel Appeal raised and distributed tens of millions of dollars — some I received to cover costs in Khartoum. Operations Moses and Sheba were trilateral operations with the government of Sudan an active and willing participant. Without the help of then president Jaafar Nimieri, the rescue would not have taken place.
Finally, the thousand or more Black Jews who died in Sudan were killed by disease, starvation, lack of shelter, and contaminated water. A full account of Operation Moses and the efforts of the American Association for Ethiopian Jews is contained in Howard Lenhoff’s book Black Jews, Jews, and Other Heroes.
Refugee Affairs Counselor at the U. S. Embassy in Khartoum from 1982–85