Letters to the Editor
November 16, 2023

To the Editor:

Sometimes a binary choice, one or the other, is not possible. Sometimes the truth resides in more than one point of view. Sometimes the solution requires painful admissions, confronting a friend, or defending an enemy.
I understand that the Israel/Palestine tragedy can engender a visceral response from Jews and Muslims the world over because it involves family and friends, ancestral horrors, and historical pain and suffering on both sides. The idea that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is fanatical, as is assuming that Palestinians have no legitimate right to defend their lands against an ever-encroaching Israel.

Conflicts exist between generations. Many Jewish parents believe that “without Israel, there would be no Jews in the world,” but their children may see Israel as a west-supported super-power imposing military control over a vulnerable population. There is some truth in both points of view.

After WWII, the western allies awarded Palestine, a Jewish homeland 2000 years prior, to the Israelis as compensation for ignoring “The Final Solution” extinction effort by the Nazis during WWII.

The Palestinians assert that the West and the Jews, in 1947, had no right to disestablish what had been their homeland for the last 1000 years to salve a collective guilt, without negotiation or compensation.
Tragically, efforts to obtain a “two-nation resolution” have been repeatedly rejected by both parties, and each side has vowed obliteration of the other. The political leaders of both sides consider themselves “righteous” belligerents. And both are drawing the rest of the world into their mutual intolerance.

Without denying the savagery of the October 7 attack in Israel, one which assured some level of atonement, those of us who have been generally supportive of Israel are horrified at the lack of proportionality in the retribution and “message to terrorists.” While I support Israel’s insistence that the hostages first be returned, killing every Gazan is an offense to humanity.
Parenthetically, one of the enduring mysteries of this tragedy is why Israel ignored the warnings of Egypt, Jordan, and the US, that “chatter” indicated that something highly consequential was planned by Hamas near the date they attacked. Israel did not alert the military or warn the public. Israel wasn’t even monitoring Gaza communications but focused entirely on Hezbollah to the north. Why? Netanyahu disingenuously dismisses the issue.

The October 7 Hamas attack was grotesque and horrendous, and what is happening in Gaza in response is likewise inhumane. If anyone should be revolted at the killing of humans in a barrel, you’d think it would be the Jews, who have suffered extermination efforts themselves. One side, or the other, is not solely entitled to survival.

Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca