Friday, August 24, 2007

Letter to CNN from Israel Director of Christian Friends of Israeli Communities

This letter was not written by me, rather it was written by Sondra Oster Baras, who appeared in CNN's recent piece titled "G-d's Jewish Warriors." I'll let the letter speak for itself.

To: CNN producer Jen Christensen
From: Sondra Oster Baras
Director, Israel Office
Christian Friends of Israeli Communities

Dear Jen,

Well, I saw it last night. Your portrayal of me was fair. Myonly comment was that I never said I had a calling from G-d to dowhat I do. I don't have that kind of direct line, although manyof my Christian friends believe they do. What I said is that iswas my calling -- meant in a far more secular way. I also saidthat it is something I believe G-d wants me to be doing.

However, all that is minor compared to what I believe is theincredibly slanted presentation you made. There have beenexactly 4 Jewish terrorist incidents or attempted incidents andyou devoted half the program to them, discussing each one indetail. The people who support these are a fringe minority androundly condemned by 98% of the settlement movement. People likeChanan Porat and myself are the representative, and yet you gavefar more time to Yehuda Etzion and David HaIvri and the otherswho support this position. If you gave similar time to everysingle Arab terrorist attack, the show would go on for days ifnot years. Is that fair?

There is a great difference between believing that what you aredoing is right and just according to your faith and taking thatfaith to crusader proportions, which we absolutely won't do.

Also, the legality of the settlements issue was so incrediblybiased. Eugene Rostow, undersecretary of State wrote a seminalarticle defending their legality in the 80's, as did the IsraeliSupreme Court -- yet not a mention was made of that perspective.This is not just about the conflict between Torah law anddemocracy and international law. International law itself can beseen from two different perspectives and that is exactly howMenachem Begin saw it. And, as a former attorney myself, that isexactly how I see it. Why was that not discussed?

And since when is Gershon Gorenberg the international expert onall of this? He comes from a clearly biased position, and yet hewas placed in the position of the reasoned intellectual on theissue. As were the other "experts" and historians you quoted.Why did you not quote a single legal or historical expert on theother side? If you needed help finding some, I would have beenglad to help.

Jen, I am disappointed in you and the others. But I am notsurprised. Please pass this on to Andy and Jody and anyone elseinvolved. I just do not have their e-mail addresses with me -- Iam currently in LA. I plan on writing a detailed letterevaluating and analyzing the program when I get back to the USand will send it to you as well as to others. If you'd like todiscuss this in person, I am on my cellphone -- .

However, all that being said, I am glad I participated if only toensure that at least a small part of the program included sanecommentary. How said that this is how we need to see CNN.

Sondra Oster Baras
Director, Israel Office
Christian Friends of Israeli Communities

No comments: