"Woody Allen wrote something in The New York Times," George said. "An op-ed article. Ask Anna. Ask Michael. They read it and couldn't believe their eyes. It was reprinted here. It ranks as Woody Allen's best joke yet. Philip, the guy isn't a shlimazl just in the movies. Woody Allen believes that Jews aren't capable of violence. Woody Allen doesn't believe that he is reading the papers correctly — he just can't believe that Jews break bones. Tell us another one, Woody. The first bone they break in defense — to put it charitably; the second in winning; the third gives them pleasure; and the fourth is already a reflex. Kamil hasn't patience for this idiot...."
Philip Roth, Operation Shylock: A Confession, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1993, p. 155.
Am I Reading the Papers Correctly?
By Woody Allen
Israel's Policies Defy Belief
And now after months of quiet in my own life, another situation has arisen — a situation that is quite painful and confusing — and a stand must be taken.
As a supporter of Israel, and as one who has always been outraged at the horrors inflicted on this little nation by hostile neighbors, vile terrorists and much of the world at large, I am appalled beyond measure by the treatment of the rioting Palestinians by the Jews.
I mean, fellas, are you kidding? Beatings of people by soldiers to make examples of them? Breaking the hands of men and women so they can't throw stones? Dragging civilians out of their houses at random to smash them with sticks in an effort to terrorize a population into quiet?
Please understand that I have no sympathy for the way the Arabs have treated the Israelis. Indeed, sometimes you get the feeling you want to belt them — but only certain ones and for very specific acts.
But am I reading the newspapers correctly? Were food and medical supplies withheld to make a rebellious community "uncomfortable"? Were real bullets fired at first to control crowds, and rubber ones only when the United States objected? Are we talking about state-sanctioned brutality and even torture?
My goodness! Are these the people whose money I used to steal from those little blue-and-white cans after collecting funds for a Jewish homeland? I can't believe it, and I don't know exactly what is to be done, but I'm sure pulling out my movies is again not the answer.
Perhaps for all of us who are rooting for Israel to continue to exist and prosper, the obligation is to speak out and use every method of pressure — moral, financial and political — to bring this wrongheaded approach to a halt.
New York Times, 28-Jan-1988, page number unrecorded on my clipping.