Letter to Media:
Why Time for Kids is Against the Kids?
Posted: 27 Rajab 1421, 25 October 2000
I am a 14-year old, living in California, USA. I was browsing the Time
for Kids site and came upon your magazine article, "A Fragile Peace
Is Torn Apart", regarding what is going on in the Middle East. Knowing the
reputation that Time magazine had in the US, I opened the article and expected to find an
objective article regarding the conflict. Yet, to my disappointment, your article was not
presenting a true picture of what is really happening in Palestine.
Your article says that the fighting was triggered by a visit of an
Israeli politician, Ariel Sharon, to a site holy to both Jews and Muslims. It makes a
reader think that the Palestinian protesters were crazy. After all, a Jew must have the
right to visit his holy places. However, the truth is that Ariel Sharon, the mastermind of
the Sabra and Shatilla massacres, went with more than a thousand armed troops into Masjid
Al-Aqsa, a Muslim holy place. Al-Aqsa has been there for fourteen centuries. It is
internationally recognized as an Islamic holy site. It is the third holiest site in Islam
after Makkah and Madinah. For centuries Jews did not question these facts either. The
trouble started only after Zionists set foot in Palestine. Since then extremist Jews have
been trying to destroy Al-Aqsa and replace it with a Temple. All of these are important
historical facts that are totally missing from your article. In fact even the name
Al-Aqsa, which is at the center of all this, does not appear at all in your account.
Further your narration of events is wrong. The simple fact is that
Palestinians started to protest, as it was to be expected, and Israelis started killing
them, in contravention of all norms and International laws, as they have always done
during their brutal occupation.
It was not fighting that took place. Heavily armed Israeli troops shot
hundreds of Palestinians who were protesting against Ariel Sharon's act. Only a few
Palestinians had light weapons, while the majority had only rocks. Yet, your article says
that demonstrators carrying guns took to the streets. Thus, it makes a reader feel that
Israelis are not murdering people; they are just defending themselves. Then, emphasizing
that Israelis are victims, it also mentions the deaths of two Israelis, without mentioning
the killings of unarmed, helpless, innocent children. It does not mention the shooting of
bullets into children's eyes. It does not mention the savage armed settlers, who, with
Israeli army escorts went on rampages throughout villages in Palestine. It does, though
say, that Palestinians were the ones who rampaged, accusing the victims to be the
Your article states that Jews and Muslims have been involved in a long
struggle over land in Palestine. The struggle over land was just created in this century,
in 1948, when Jews, who at that time held only 5.7% of the land of Palestine, were given
by the UN 56% of the land! For centuries, the Palestinians owned the land legally. Yet,
with the UN declaration, Jews occupied the land. By the time of the armistice of 1948,
Jews, through force, took possession of 78% of the land. The Palestinians living there did
not leave just because "they felt they had to leave their homes." They were
forcibly driven off, and their land was stolen. Unfortunately, there is no mention of this
in your article.
By equating the victim and the perpetrator, you are effectively
supporting the criminals. I am unable to understand how Time for kids could choose to be
on the side of those who are persecuting the kids?