Dear Mazin Qumsiyeh,
I am writing you concerning e-mails that you broadly distribute about “human rights.” Your emails started appearing in my inbox after I attended an event in March at Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio, where you were the featured speaker.  I imagine you got my email address from the sign-in sheet that I completed at the event.  Although I found many of your assertions at the event, such as that, “Zionists were collaborators with the Nazis” and that “there were only two flags permitted in Nazi Germany: the Nazi flag and the Zionist flag with the Star of David,” disturbing and offensive, it did not make me to want to go home and write you a letter.  Instead I wondered why anyone would take you seriously on this subject and why universities such as Case Western, Yale University, Hofstra University, and University of Pennsylvania have agreed to host you for lectures.
But the content of your emails has motivated me to share my impressions in this open letter to you. Since each of your e-mails begins with the capitalized words, “HUMAN RIGHTS,” one could make the assumption that you actually are concerned about human rights, but your e-mails do not support this conclusion. Instead readers of your mail are subjected to your constant and consistent blaming of Israel in each and every situation to the point where you ignore the true perpetrators of the human rights violation. Additionally, you make no attempt to present a balanced perspective and ignore the abuse of people right in your backyard.
It seems clear to me that the real goal of your email broadcasts is the demonization of Israel NOT human rights. So far e-mails that I received focused on topics, such as Vittorio Arrigoni, the Palestinian Authority village Awarta, and the recent Easter holiday.  In each e-mail, you found a way to mislead readers and make Israel look like an evil aggressor.
Let’s start with your e-mails about Vittorio Arrigoni. You included links to YouTube clips, in which friends of Vittorrio can be heard saying that, “It couldn’t have been a Palestinian who killed Vic (Vittorrio).” They continue on that train of thought and come to the conclusion that Israel had something to benefit from his murder. You conveniently forgot to mention that the murder was carried out by three Arab men who were later identified, with two of them ending up dead in a battle with Hamas. To think that you could ignore such a blatant fact is disturbing in and of itself, but it really is no surprise.
You continued to exert your efforts in trying to blame Israel for Arrigoni''s murder with a new e-mail. Included was another video titled “Mossad killed Vittorio Arrigoni.” In the video, why is there no mention of war crimes committed by Hamas and other terror groups who constantly violate human rights and openly claim responsibility for their activities? What about the attacks on UN camps (for teaching Western values) or the female journalists who have been reportedly beaten by Hamas security forces in Gaza?  Do these incidents count as violations of human rights or will you continue to ignore them because they don’t involve Israel? I have to wonder what Vittorrio would think of the situation. After seeing the picture where he is smiling with Senior Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh, I think I have an idea of what his true ambitions in Gaza were – how about you?

(Vittorio Arrigoni and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh)

Just as troubling as the lies that you distributed concerning the death of Arrigoni was your e-mail about Awarta. You barely mentioned the slaughter of a 3-month-old baby, 4-year-old child, 11-year-old child, and their parents. No, you just glossed over these details of cold-blooded murder and wrote about tales that were told to you by angry Awarta residents on your recent solidarity mission to the village.
What disturbed me most about your account of the solidarity trip was when you began to describe the murder of the Fogels, whom you called the “settler family.” You provided a list of questions in hopes that you could place blame on someone else for the horrific killings – as if the admittance from the two Palestinian Arab men was forced out of them by Israel. Do you really believe that Israel made up the entire story, including the fact that the IDF recovered stolen weapons from Itamar in Ramallah that were brought there by Awarta residents? I really don’t think so, but as usual, you end up telling lies to deceive your readers.
A good example of how you mislead is when you wrote, “How would they cut through the electrified security fence?” giving the impression that the fence would have electrocuted someone who touched it. If you would do some reading and research on what happened that night in Itamar, then you would know that the electric sensor on the fence had in fact been set off twice – upon leaving and entering, and that the security officers in Itamar made a mistake in thinking that it was a false alarm and that there were no concerns.  Also, to close in on your deceptive tactics, your readers should know that the two men did not cut the fence, but they jumped over it and made their way to do the disgusting murders, which they admitted to!
Lastly, you sent an e-mail about the hardships of celebrating Easter because of Israel. In that e-mail, it would have been quite relevant to mention that the Christian population throughout the Middle East has been in decline and that they have faced major persecution. As someone concerned with human rights, it is amazing that you fail to ever mention the attacks on Christian schools and churches in places like Gaza and Egypt. You also neglect mentioning the many violations of human rights that are presently occurring throughout the Middle East. Whether it is the slaying of 75 innocent citizens by the Syrian government on Good Friday, the arrests of pro-peace bloggers in Egypt, or the continuing deadly actions of the Gaddafi regime which have killed thousands, none of that seems to be covered under your definition of human rights violations.
Mr. Qumsiyeh, if you are truly concerned about human rights and not just on expelling all Jews from Israel and ending the Jewish state, then do all of your readers a favor and e-mail them about your many errors and lies. Otherwise, you should admit that your “human rights” slogan is a disguise for your hatred of the Jewish nation and the State of Israel.


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Jason Holtzman


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