Reader satisfied with coverage of Israel march

I was shocked and dismayed by the letter from Michael Pitula (May 10) regarding the Naperville Sun's coverage of what he describes as the "pro-Zionist rally" in Chicago on April 28.  I read the article he decried, and I am at a loss to find anything offensive, pro-Israeli or anti-Palestinian.

The article factually reported that more than 100 Naperville residents gave up their Sunday to attend the Walk with Israel to show their solidarity with Israel's right to survive as a democracy in a region of authoritarian monarchies and outright dictatorships. The thrust of the article was entirely on the activities of local residents, not on the rally itself. And I have always found the local focus of The Sun to be most valuable to my family; it is our only source of information about what our neighbors do and how they feel about issues.

I am deeply offended by the factual errors that Mr. Pitula advances in his letter.

For example, he implies that the "displacement" of 700,000 Arabs was Israel's fault. Not so. Within 24 hours of Israel's declaration of independence pursuant to U.N. Resolution 181, it was invaded by the armies of five Arab nations. The new government of Israel made every effort to convince Arabs to remain, but many Arabs chose to flee the war zone.

In fact, the invading Arab nations encouraged Palestinian Arabs to seek refuge in neighboring Arab countries and promised that they could return and take over their enemy's property after "the Jews were driven into the sea." Nor does Mr. Pitula mention that more than one-half million Jews were driven from Arab nations with little more than what could be carried in a suitcase.

Mr. Pitula's concern for the sanctity of human life appears to extend only to Arab lives. He neglects to mention that more than 500 Israelis have been killed and more than 4000 injured since the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000. In fact, the decision by Yasser Arafat to abandon peace negotiations and return to terrorism is the only reason Israeli soldiers were sent into territories of the Palestinian Authority. If Mr. Arafat cannot or will not stop the terrorist raids on Israel, then Israel must act in its own defense.

Kent Huffman
Naperville