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Sherwood Ross writes that "al Qaeda officials have stated their reasons [for terrorist attacks such as 9/11] repeatedly: to avenge Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians and to drive U.S. forces out of the Middle East." That last part is true; the first part is not. Al Qaeda support for the Palestinians is recent and cynical. For example, Shibley Telhami, nonresident senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, wrote "It is, therefore, no surprise that al-Qaida's powerful second-in-command, Ayman al Zawahiri, tried Thursday [July 27, 2006] to get in on the act. [The reference is to the war in Lebanon.] In a video, Zawahiri called for Muslims to join in a holy war against Israel. He is not likely to get much attention." (San Jose Mercury News, July 30, 2006)
Ross also quotes Alexander Cockburn, a notoriously prejudiced commentator, who once wrote that all the deaths in the Middle East since 1948 were the fault of Israel.
There is certainly legitimate criticism to be made of Israel, but it is appalling that some Palestinians Partisans are indifferent to suicide bombers, rocket attacks, and threats to annihilate Israel.
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