Marcus Gee's recent column, "No interim state of Palestine", was not only blatantly inaccurate in ways that are trivial to determine, but made liberal use of racist double standards against the Palestinians.
He writes, "As a state, the new Palestine would have the right to raise an army and make alliances with friendly neighbors such as Iraq." Would it? Even if Bush for some reason went that far, the Israelis would do everything in their power to prevent it. Shouldn't such a claim should have at least some relation to the facts? Gee goes as far as to advocate keeping Palestinians in poverty, because any money they get could be used for weapons. The only way that such reasoning works is with racist preconceptions about the Palestinians: consider that one can hardly get away with criticizing Israel, much less advocating the enduring poverty of all Jews living in the middle east.
But that's missing the point. Not only will keeping Palestinians poor escalate the situation, but there remain many things that Israel could do to better the lot of the Palestinian people with no degradation of security: stop bulldozing homes with no warning, stop systematically harassing and humiliating Palestinians in the occupied territories. I look forward to the day when Gee can turn his critical eye onto these crucial issues.
p.s. I realize that Mr. Gee is an opinion columnist and that controversy sells papers (indeed, I have several friends who find a sort of grim amusement in Mr. Gee's writing), but I have to ask: are there not some standards for which you should hold paid staff accountable?