Thursday, May 30, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Peace with Palestinians

So saddened to read your editorial of Oct. 27 for its inaccuracies and misleading characterizations. You succeed in blaming the victim of the Hamas attack, Israel. Your editorial throws around terms like “genocide” and strives for a moral equivalency between civilians intentionally murdered by Palestinians and those that the Israeli military does its utmost to protect. If this were not, true there would be exponentially greater Palestinian casualties.

The editorial notes the 750,000 Palestinians displaced, in the Nakba but omits the 800,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries. You write of Palestinians being massacred, but make no mention of the numerous Palestinian massacres of Jews prior to Israel’s independence. The editorial’s rehash of history fails to mention the Palestinian leadership’s alliance with Nazi Germany. Three times Palestinians were offered a state and refused it. In 1947 Israel accepted the UN partition and the Palestinians refused. 

In 1947, there were massive shifts in world population. One example was the partition of India and Pakistan. Fifteen million Indians and Pakistanis were uprooted and at least 2 million were killed, numbers dwarfing those in Palestine. Yet, there are no Hindu or Muslim refugee camps today, as Palestinians have been relegated to.

The 800,000 displaced Jews have been resettled, only the Palestinians are kept as refugees. The editorial decries restrictions on Gaza since 2007, but restrictions did not exist when the Palestinian Authority ran Gaza. Only when Hamas took control, declaring war on Israel, were restrictions instituted. You omit mention of the Egyptian border crossing, which could transfer people and supplies if Egypt allowed. You made no objection to the attack on Israel on  Oct.7, nor did you object to the 400,000 Syrians or 380,000 Yemeni civilians recently killed.

 The selective outrage of this editorial is a prized tool of Hamas. Hamas depends on such editorials in its strategy, which complements its premeditated sacrifice of civilians for media consumption.

Without editorials like this, Hamas would have to rethink its strategy of sacrificing civilians. In that sense, the editorialists are unwitting accomplices in the death of the civilians.

An enlightened editorial would have decried the Hamas atrocity perpetrated upon Israel and the subsequent loss of innocent Palestinian lives. It would have condemned Hamas for derailing the Oslo peace process in the 1990s with its murderous activity, interrupting a realistic hope for an independent Palestinian state. The editorial’s exclusive use of the Palestinian narrative and total exclusion of the Israeli narrative might make some feel good, but does nothing to help Palestinians achieve peaceful independence.


Andrew J. Katz

Donor to SUNY Plattsburgh, ‘74 alumnus


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