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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace

Letter to the Editor: Correspondence

The Jewish Review

January 15, 2009

By Jonathan Moss

To the editor:

I recently returned to Portland from a short family visit to Israel. My wife and I were there for 12 days.

A few days after we arrived, Israel started its bombing of the Gaza strip. Israeli soldiers entered Gaza a day before we left.

As I read the papers, listen to the radio and reflect on the conversations I had back home with a few close friends about the situation, my heart fills with sadness.

Some claim that what is happening in Gaza is a massacre, while others find such an accusation outrageous and untrue. Some say that the fighting is Hamas’ fault while others blame Israel. Some say we should not compare body counts and some say we cannot ignore a mortality rate of approximately 100 dead Palestinians to every dead Israeli.

Some say that this war is poli­tical: Tsipi Livni and Ehud Barak trying to improve
their standings in the polls, or Israel taking advantage of the last days of the Bush administration. Some mention Iran or Egypt as players.

This list can go on, strengthening what everyone seems to agree on—the situation is highly complex.

Meanwhile, people are dying.

I distrust anyone who claims they know what is happening. Anyone who claims to understand the situation—Israeli or non-Israeli, left or right—is either arrogant or ignorant.

This is a dirty war (as wars always are), fought in the most populated area on the planet—a fact that is used by both warring sides in horrible and cynical ways.

Both sides must take responsibility for their actions. Hamas chooses to fire rockets from within a U.N school and the IDF chooses to fire back. Neither of the fighting parties comes out of this round with their humanity intact (and no amount of warning leaflets dropped from planes can change this fact), so please let’s not pretend otherwise.

While we argue who is at fault and who is the victim, bodies pile up in the street, and a new generation of traumatized children is set forth to continue the dance of death started by previous generations. The dogs bark as the caravan of folly and destruction passes by once again.

Jonathan Moss
Portland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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