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Barry Hirsch: A missed opportunity

  • An Israeli soldier stands near a wall at the Israel Lebanon border near Rosh Haniqra, northern Israel, Sept. 5, 2018.  AP PHOTO/Sebastian Scheiner


Wednesday, December 05, 2018
A missed opportunity

Israeli security forces have probably had the most experience and most success fighting terrorism of any country in the world. Sadly, that success has often resulted from the use of oppressive and inhumane measures. The debate about whether the threats Israel faces internally from terrorism and externally from powerful countries bent on its destruction justifies these actions is clearly the dividing line between those who have critical support for Israel and those who condemn it unequivocally.

The United States is facing a rapid rise in right-wing extremist terrorist attacks many of which have been directed at Jewish institutions. This year, the Jewish community experienced the most deadly attack against a Jewish institution in U.S. history. For the city of Northampton to pass up the opportunity to learn from the experience of the Israeli security forces seems incredibly shortsighted. I hope terrorism never comes to Northampton and hope if it does we don’t look back and regret what our police could have done to prevent it had they been better trained.

There are many ways to express disagreement with the policies of the Israeli government. This seems like a foolish one.

Barry Hirsch
Northampton