To the Editor:
With all due respect to the servicemen on the USS Liberty, the tale of an Israeli intentional attack is preposterous. Contrary to Mr. Genrich’s viewpoint article (June 3, 2007), there have been a number of official U.S. investigations, including the US Navy Court of Inquiry and House Armed Services Committee, concluding that this was a tragic mistake. No reason is ever given by these conspiracy theorists for why Israel would intentional attack an American ship.
At the time, the U.S. announced that it had no vessels within a hundred miles of the coast and the USS Liberty was directed not to approach within a hundred miles. Nonetheless, likely because of communication failures, the USS Liberty was attacked fourteen miles from the coast. Israeli forces had reported being shelled from the sea and had concluded that this unidentified ship was responsible. Once the Israelis released this was an American ship, they immediately apologized to American officials both in Israel and in the Washington. Also not mentioned in the article is the fact that Israel quickly and willingly paid reparations to the US and the families of the victims.
For more information on the Liberty:
The Jewish Library's Myth and Facts article on the Liberty.
Michael Oren's excellent account of the 1967 war, Six Days of War, provides a detailed account of the incident.
Update: Letter published!
Congratulations for getting your letter published. One fact which Genrich fails to mention is that the "clear, calm day" occurred during wartime in the proximity of of the war zone. The main question which he fails to address is what could Israel gain by intentionally attacking its only Ally.
As regards the USS Liberty, Mark Genrich is not an honest broker; he is far from being a neutral mediator on this issue. For proof, one need only check the columns he wrote for the now-defunct Phoenix Gazette.
Israel as an ugly little outlaw nation (courtesy of former GOP Congressman Paul McClosky Jr.)--August 17, 1988
Israel as an infection--June 27, 1990
Jews and the free lunch--April 1, 1992
Dual loyalty--May 20, 1992
With all due respect for those who served on board the USS Liberty, if you lie down with a dog, you get up with fleas.
Jack, thanks for the info on Genrich. I prefer to give folks the benefit of the doubt, but he's apparently quite the anti-Semite. Shame on the AZ Republic for publishing the viewpoint in the first place.
See the article by A. Jay Cristol that appeared in the Sunday June 15, 2007 edition of The Arizona Republic.
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