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Columnist Vijay Prashad responds to readers' criticism of essay on Israel-Gaza violence

  • Smoke rises after an Israeli strike in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014. Israel said Thursday it has called up another 16,000 reservists, allowing it to potentially widen its Gaza operation against the territory's Hamas rulers in a three-week-old war that has killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and more than 50 Israelis. (AP Photo/Majed Hamdan)

    Smoke rises after an Israeli strike in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014. Israel said Thursday it has called up another 16,000 reservists, allowing it to potentially widen its Gaza operation against the territory's Hamas rulers in a three-week-old war that has killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and more than 50 Israelis. (AP Photo/Majed Hamdan)

  • Palestinian Heygar Jendiyah, left, points to where the family house kitchen once stood, partially destroyed by an Israeli strike earlier during the war, as her children Ranin, 10, center, and Helmi, right, listen, in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014. The building houses 21 members of the extended family, and now with several rooms destroyed, they try to go about their lives, without electricity and without running water for several hours a day. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

    Palestinian Heygar Jendiyah, left, points to where the family house kitchen once stood, partially destroyed by an Israeli strike earlier during the war, as her children Ranin, 10, center, and Helmi, right, listen, in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014. The building houses 21 members of the extended family, and now with several rooms destroyed, they try to go about their lives, without electricity and without running water for several hours a day. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • Smoke rises after an Israeli strike in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014. Israel said Thursday it has called up another 16,000 reservists, allowing it to potentially widen its Gaza operation against the territory's Hamas rulers in a three-week-old war that has killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and more than 50 Israelis. (AP Photo/Majed Hamdan)
  • Palestinian Heygar Jendiyah, left, points to where the family house kitchen once stood, partially destroyed by an Israeli strike earlier during the war, as her children Ranin, 10, center, and Helmi, right, listen, in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014. The building houses 21 members of the extended family, and now with several rooms destroyed, they try to go about their lives, without electricity and without running water for several hours a day. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Guest columnist Vijay Prashad of Northampton offered this response to letters today:

Take a cue, friends, from the UN workers on the ground — from the Secretary General of UNRWA Pierre Krähenbühl: “We have moved beyond the realm of humanitarian action alone. ... I call on the international community to take deliberate international political action to put an immediate end to the continuing carnage.”

For the entire statement, http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/official-statements/.

In trying to convey the seriousness of the six attacks by the Israeli army on UN buildings where civilians have taken shelter, UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness could not hold it together. He broke into tears on international television.

If all you see is Hamas, Hamas, Hamas, you fail to see what the Israeli military has wrought. It produces serious moral blindness.

Related

Readers respond to Prashad Gaza column: Roni Gold, Guest column on Gaza wrongly implicates Israel

Friday, August 1, 2014

To the editor: Prof. Vijay Prashad’s Tuesday guest column, “Impunity for Israel’s bombardment,” presents inaccurate information and personal opinions rather than facts and does more to inflame hatred towards Israel rather than educating readers with an honest view of this terrible situation in Gaza. The Gazette should be embarrassed and hold itself accountable for publishing a column that is at …

Blair Barondes: Writer’s view of Gaza contains mistruths

Friday, August 1, 2014

To the editor: I read with great sadness Vijay Prashad’s column. How does it help move a discussion forward by writing a blatantly inaccurate and inflammatory essay? Nowhere does he mention the immediate cause of the current conflict: unceasing rocket fire from Gaza terrorizing Israeli citizens (Arab, Jewish and Christian). Nowhere does he mention Hamas’ publicly stated goal of eliminating …

Joseph Kushick, Richard S. Ellis & Yaffa Gunner: Israel weathers years of rocket attacks

Friday, August 1, 2014

To the editor: How astonishing it was for us to note that in his essay on the tragedy unfolding in Gaza, Vijay Prashad could not find space for the word “Qassam,” not even once. Since 2001, thousands upon thousands of homemade and imported rockets have rained from Gaza towards Israeli communities. Some years have seen several thousand rockets, some years …

Readers respond to Prashad Gaza column: Rabbi Justin David, Avoiding either/or on the Gaza crisis

Thursday, July 31, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — There are certain incontrovertible realities about the conflict between Israel and Hamas taking place in Gaza, none of which lead to easy conclusions. Hamas is firing rockets indiscriminately at civilian targets in Israel, for which Israel not only has the right but the obligation to respond in order to protect its citizens. Those rockets, as any number of …

Vijay Prashad: Impunity for Israel’s bombardment of Gaza

Thursday, July 31, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Over the course of 18 days, the Israeli assault on Gaza cost over 1,000 Palestinian lives, with many thousands wounded. Gaza’s infrastructure has been pummeled — its water and sewer systems, its hospitals and its schools have been rendered inoperative. Jens Laerke of the United Nation’s humanitarian agency says, “Our aid workers on the ground report that people …

Legacy Comments1

In answer to your question Joseph Kushnick, Richard S, Ellis and Yaffa Gunner, no, the Jewish people are not "ENTITLED" to return to the Middle East after 2,000 years and murder and expel the Palestinian people, stealing the land of Palestine for themselves. Yes, World war II was terrible and at least 60,000,000. Except to a racist, the deaths of each of the 54,000,000 people who were not Jewish was equally as tragic as the death of a Jewish person. Russians, Poles, French, British, Indians, Canadians and Americans, Communists, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Union Leaders and other Dissenters may not be "Chosen People, " but they are People. Each of the victims of the holocaust was entitled to reparations and compensation. But neither the Jewish people or any other World War II victims were entitled to go to Palestine, murder the people and steal the land. Why didn't the Jewish people go to Palestine and BUY the land with the reparations they received from the Germans? Why don't they offer peace, dignity, an apology and reparations to the Palestinian people now?Yom Kippur is coming up in two months. Perhaps you should spend that day thinking about the brutal 70 year occupation of the Palestinian people. Then try to rethink your sense of entitlement. Also, next time you feel the urge to donate money so a Jewish child can take yet another tour of a concentration camp, consider instead donating to a charity that sends Jewish kids to Gaza so he or she can learn empathy, rather than hate and self-pity. Better yet, go to Gaza or the West Bank yourself.

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