Letters: Israel, Dover, Ali Listeners respond to the story about life on either side of Israel's barrier with the West Bank, the change in media rules at Dover Air Force Base, and Muhammad Ali's "This, I Believe" essay. Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from listeners' e-mails.
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Letters: Israel, Dover, Ali

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Letters: Israel, Dover, Ali

Letters: Israel, Dover, Ali

Letters: Israel, Dover, Ali

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Listeners respond to the story about life on either side of Israel's barrier with the West Bank, the change in media rules at Dover Air Force Base, and Muhammad Ali's "This, I Believe" essay. Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from listeners' e-mails.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Now, to your letters. And many of you had something to say about Eric Westervelt's story yesterday, part one of his series.

BLOCK: I appreciate your very good story on the barrier wall between Israel and the West Bank. But as is often the case on NPR, the background on the story lacked depth and completeness, only going back to the intifada.

Mr. Hall continues: You didn't mention the decades old pattern of displacement, banishment, land seizure and Israeli violence against Palestinians that caused such rage that such violent acts as suicide missions became common. Your story gave the impression that the suicide missions were the first act in the matter of the wall, rather than a response to Israeli aggression.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

Andy Wood(ph) of Bedford, Massachusetts, heard things differently. He wrote: It was a well-balanced report until the end, when you invited your listeners to view Palestinian life at the Israeli checkpoint at npr.org, instead of inviting them to view a video of the aftermath of a Palestinian terrorist bomb set off at an Israeli cafe.

BLOCK: Many of you also wrote in, in response to our story about the change in media rules at Dover Air Force Base. Yesterday, we aired the voices of several members of the honor guard there who carried the caskets of the U.S. war dead.

BLOCK: All these thoughts come into your head, you know, was he young? Was he old? You don't know if it's a man, a woman. It could be like a rank of private or a colonel, what type of person he is, where he's from. I mean, I wonder what he liked to do. If he was a mother, a father, a son.

BLOCK: For Connie Beal(ph) of Phoenix, Arizona, the story struck a personal chord. She writes: I felt the cold wind at the Dover Delaware Air Force Base, as the honor guard soldiers shared their hearts' sadness. My older brother was killed while serving in the Air Force in 1966.

BLOCK: Today, I didn't see it in a newspaper, but I was aware through the eyes of the men who carried their bodies part of the way home, such profound respect with silent dignity and few words. And she continues: For those returning now, thank you for helping us to see their return. It should have always been so.

NORRIS: On a lighter note, many of you wrote in to say how much you enjoyed our final This I Believe essay from Muhammad Ali, but how sorry you were to say goodbye to the series.

BLOCK: I just don't understand why the This I Believe series is ending. I protest. And that I protest came in with not one but five exclamation marks.

BLOCK: And Bridgette Yancey(ph) of Tempe, Arizona, wrote: Bravo, NPR. I have loved the entire This I Believe series and I'm sad to hear it is coming to an end. Today's piece with Muhammad Ali was a perfect finale. How inspiring to not only hear his words, but to hear his voice as well. Yes, Mr. Ali, you are still the greatest.

NORRIS: Well, whether you like something you heard or want to give us an earful about something you think we got wrong, we want to hear from you.

BLOCK: Go to our Web site, npr.org and click on contact us.

NORRIS: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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