It takes a certain amount of talent to write a column like that of Josh Eidelson ’06, published on Wednesday in the Yale Daily News (“Israeli Boim Bill assaults human rights,” 11/6).

No, I’m not talking about his vivid vision of Isaiah and Jeremiah outside the Knesset. I certainly don’t refer to his ability to cite from the Human Rights Watch statement, equally critical of Israel and the Palestinians, and then ignore half of his own quote to offer a one-sided conclusion about the “cold shoulder” delivered by Israel (as if the Palestinians delivered any shoulder at all). In fact, I even don’t refer to his blatant distortion of Shaul Mofaz, who always takes special care to differentiate between the Palestinian people and the Palestinian terrorists (and since I can’t imagine it was the writer’s intention to lie and mislead his readers, I can only come to the troubling conclusion that he himself considers these two groups as one).

No. To me Eidelson’s column is most impressive because it is, naively or intentionally, searching for the key under the light. The piece finds no shame in attacking the Israeli treatment of human rights based on a premature bill that still has a long way to go before becoming a law, while at the same time he completely ignores the dire condition of human rights in Palestinian society and Palestinian Authority itself (or for this matter, in any of Israel’s neighbors).

So perhaps the following reminder may be helpful. In the Palestinian Authority, those who are suspected of delivering information to Israel, including information that prevents the killing of innocents by suicide bombers (certainly a worthy goal, one that even Eidelson, apparently a human rights advocate, cannot object to), are simply executed. No evidence. No trial. No law. No bill (not even a Boim Bill). If the writer was really concerned about human rights, this is where he would start looking for the key.

Ohad Ben-Shahar GRD ’03

November 6, 2002