To the editor:
This letter is in reply to Kristi Warab’s letter to the editor where she decries the well-written email by acting Superintendent Michelle Cresta and proceeds to blame “sensationalized headlines” on spreading hate while trying to twist the lessons of the Holocaust.
As an Israeli-American who was born just north of Tel Aviv and with family living throughout Israel, I have felt utterly helpless as events unfolded over the past week. With images of Hamas’ premeditated and deliberate attacks on women and children followed by news of kidnappings, there appeared very little that any of us fortunate to live in the safety of the United States could do.
I attended the rally at Shirat Hayam on Wednesday night and held on to one theme from that event. A speaker cautioned that, as events continued to unfold, we all had a responsibility to make our voices heard whenever we saw attempts to change the narrative and blame the victims of this horrific act. With Ms. Warab’s letter, I realized someone had to raise their voice and counter the many inaccuracies and selective history-telling found in her note.
To address Ms. Warab’s concern of “the narrative,” I’ll say that it is exceptionally simple to understand and follow. Beginning as long as one year ago, Hamas (the elected representative of the Palestinian people residing in Gaza) began to carefully plan an assault on Israelis with targets including elementary schools and a youth center. The attack plan, according to now published documents, was to “kill as many as possible” and “capture hostages.” That’s it. That’s the narrative. An armed group of terrorists attacked defenseless women and children. They gunned down young people at a music festival.
As for the “why” and Ms. Warab’s attempts to use words and imagery from the holocaust while also blaming the actions on an “Israeli-made ghetto,” Hamas’ charter includes the stated goal of destroying the State of Israel through Jihad (Islamic Holy War). There is your “why.”
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is too complicated and nuanced to define, let alone solve in the span of a letter to the editor. There are gross mistakes that have been made in this decades-old fight.
However, none of that would ever serve to justify the slaughter of civilians.
I am proud to live in a community where more than 1,000 people could be found gathered on a Wednesday night to support one another through this awful time. I just wish Kristi had been in attendance to listen to the words spoken that night.