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John Montanari: Prashad has false, morally confused position

To the editor:

In a recent guest column, Vijay Prashad characterizes the recent Israeli actions in Gaza as “less a war and more collective punishment,” and implies that Israel’s purpose is to “eradicate Palestinians from their lands — to kill them or to throw them into Egypt and Jordan.” He has it exactly backwards.

It is the Hamas government of Gaza whose charter includes the destruction of Israel. It is Hamas that intentionally targets Israeli civilians with its bombs and raids, while it endangers its own citizens by using them as human shields, thus causing a high death toll that Hamas can use to garner world sympathy. It is Israel that, though its forces must do what it necessary to protect their citizens and disarm their enemy, takes great pains to minimize civilian casualties. It is Israel that, unlike its foe, does not celebrate enemy deaths and lionize its terrorists, but constantly engages in the wrenching self-questioning that any such conflict should engender.

Professor Prashad must know that the recent kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teenagers is not the primary “casus belli for the war,” as he states, but rather that Israel’s purpose is to diminish Hamas’ ability to launch bombs on Israeli civilians and infiltrate Israeli territory through tunnels built with materials provided to Gaza for peaceful and constructive purpose. So what, then, could be his purpose in steadfastly maintaining such a false and morally confused position? I shudder to think what the answer could be.

John Montanari

Shutesbury

Legacy Comments5

Mr. Montenari is himself quite confused and ill-informed. I advise Mr. Montenari to read today's Haaretz, Israel's oldest daily newspaper: "The Palestinian death toll in the Israeli operation has passed 1,700, including about 400 children. At least 9,000 have been wounded, the Gaza health ministry said. Rights groups have estimated that more than 10,000 houses have been destroyed in the Israeli offensive." If Mr. Montenari wants to justify this slaughter, his own comments do more to label himself then anyone else. This is a war crime. I am happy to write an Op-Ed piece in your newspaper responding to Mr. Montenari or anyone else that at this sad point will come forward in support of Israel.

You could start by spelling my name correctly.

It's a tough one I'll give you that but I'm wondering if Hamas thinks shooting rocket artillery was worth it.

3 points: It sounds as if you did not read the piece. The death toll is a result of Hamas' hiding behind children when firing their bombs. Think what the death toll would be if Israel did not first text the people living in those houses to get? Haaretz is a left-wing paper which has a biased agenda to which you clearly fell victim. The above two points make me question your agenda.

Very well stated. It's always refreshing to see a well thought out response .

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