To the editor of THE EAGLE:
This letter is in response to Nicholas Kristof’s July 24 column "The battle of right vs. right." While I wholeheartedly agree that the good vs. evil narrative must be put away in order for progress to be made, I am dismayed that he would go out of your way to cast Hamas as the villain and claim Israeli innocence.
Kristof says that Israel unlike Hamas tries to minimize civilian casualties, and in the very same paper that we see stories about Israel launching missile strikes on commercial and residential neighborhoods, without warnings, not to mention the testimonies of many former Israeli soldiers recounting how they were ordered to fire on Gazans for as little as talking on their cellphones while looking out a window because they might be coordinating terrorist activity. Also keep in mind that one side in this conflict is using weapons made out of old pipes and coffee cans, the other is using precision artillery strikes and sniper teams outfitted with modern military equipment. One side has a much greater ability to minimize the impact on civilians and yet it chooses not to.
Kristof says that Gazans really don’t like Hamas, but from everything I’ve seen and read many Gazans actually do like Hamas, one of the major reasons being because it is the only one that can provide people with essential goods and services, such as water, electricity, gasoline and so on a daily basis. There are even videos of large numbers of civilians putting their lives on the line to protect Hamas, sometimes losing them in the process, which doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you would do for people you don’t like.
Kristof asks why don’t the Gazans just use non-violence. They do, Kristof even points this out himself but then brushes it aside. It is very hard for these kinds of stories to work their way into the public view in Israel and here in the U.S. because so much of our media are bent on telling one version of the story. The Internet is helping, but this process is horrendously slow.
The worst thing is Kristof’s suggestion that Israel offer an end to embargo if its preferred leaders are selected in election. That is not democracy, that is not freedom, that does not respect Palestine.