Letter to the editor: Unconscionable acts on both sides in Middle East

How can it be that after all these centuries of “progress,” we humans still try to resolve our differences by killing each other and destroying what we have labored to build? There is no sense or gain in it for anyone, only more suffering and grief.

Hamas’s massacre of Israeli civilians and abduction of hostages is unmitigated, depraved evil. It is rightly compared to the Holocaust. No English words are strong enough to describe or adequately condemn it. Certainly, Palestinians have legitimate grievances against Israel’s government, especially the continuing occupation of the West Bank, the expansion of illegal settlements and the oppression of Palestinians by the settlers and the army. But celebrating the Hamas atrocity as “resistance” is blasphemy — an obscene perversion of language. The same is true of Israel’s continuing obliteration of Gaza, killing thousands of civilians, injuring thousands more and leaving them homeless without electricity, food, water and medicine. Calling this “defense” is likewise blasphemy, obscenity and perversion.

The only reasonable response from the outside world, especially the United States, is to demand a halt to the killing, secure the release and return of all hostages and provide care for the injured and orphans. Arguing over who is more in the wrong, denouncing students, government and university officials, unions, newspapers, social media platforms and organizations of all types for being unequally — or equally — sympathetic to the victims on both sides or insufficiently critical of one perpetrator vs. the other only adds fuel to the fire. It is especially painful to see Americans who are united on many other important issues attacking each other instead of working together for a realistic truce (if peace is too much to hope for.)

One more horrific possibility we’ve been reading about is that American progressives are so incensed by President Biden’s support of Israel that they are vowing not to vote for him — letting Donald Trump win by default, as happened in 2016. That would add one more perversion to the list, for which the world would pay far into the future.

Judy and Michael Olinick


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