Protesters' messages are confused

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To the editor:
I have the greatest sympathy for the innocent people of Gaza â€" those most affected by Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. I cannot possibly comprehend what they are going through. I pray for a swift end to the conflict and resolution for a much overdue peace. The following is not a response to the conflict; rather, it is a response to terrifying messages spread at worldwide protests to Israel’s operation.

I sympathize with the grave humanitarian reasons for which so many are urging Israel to halt its operation in Gaza, but I do not understand the absence of criticism for Hamas at international protests and across the Arab world â€" has the world gone mad?

I am infuriated that so many do not scream in protest against Hamas’ intentional use of schools, hospitals and homes as rocket launching pads, knowing that there will be civilian casualties when Israel is forced to return fire. I cannot comprehend how so many people call for an immediate end to Israel’s operation yet so few urge Hamas to end its aggression against Israel, the very reason for Israel’s incursion. Is it possible that these humanitarian crusaders are hypocritical? If not, how could they urge Israel to accept a cease-fire, which Hamas rejects? Could they believe Hamas has a right to fire rockets into Israeli communities but Israel has no right to defend itself?

I ask all of the protesters to Israel’s operation in Gaza, if you are indeed protesting on moral grounds, why have you not protested for Sderot’s defense? Why have you not protested Hamas’ grotesque endangering of both Israeli and Palestinian civilian populations? Do you believe that kindergartens, hospitals and homes in both Israel and Gaza deserve to be endangered by Hamas’ inhumanity?

And regarding your protests in the name of humanity, I know the innocent people of Sderot would appreciate the same display of human sympathy for their silent endurance over the past eight years as the innocent people of Gaza have been shown these past 12 days.
â€" Michael Katchen

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