Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Letter sent to the Greenwich Time: Misunderstanding Gaza

To the editor:

In her May 20 op-ed, "A painful week," Alma Rutgers once again demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the Palestinian Arab crusade against Israel.

This time, she railed against Israel for celebrating the belated, by 69 years, relocation of the American embassy to Israel's capital while split screens on televisions were contrasting the ceremony in Jerusalem to the events in Gaza, where Hamas was doing its best to get as many Arabs as possible killed. She has apparently never noticed that Palestinians ramp up their violent attacks during every Jewish holiday and every time Israelis have something to celebrate.

Speaking as an Israeli, if we stopped celebrating every time the Palestinians were making sure blood was spilled, we would never celebrate anything. We've learned that we have no alternative if we are to have any chance to enjoy life; we have to accept the reality of our brutal neighbors and cope with them. Thus, for example, when they murder families at a cafe, within hours, the bodies are removed, the blood is wiped away, the cafe is reopened and filled with other families.

We are proud of the young men and women who not only protect us but do an amazing job in minimizing harm to the very people trying to slaughter us. Even though 53 of the 62 Palestinian Arab rioters allegedly killed that day have been claimed by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups as their own members, we get no joy from their deaths.

We refuse to let the terrorists win. We refuse to allow them to destroy our humanity, our hopes, our dreams, our joy or our lives.

Speaking as an American, it's about time our government ended the perverse situation in which there was just one place in the world, in the world's only Jewish state, where our embassy was not located in the host country's capital. Finally, this year, it's in Jerusalem!


Alan Stein
Netanya, Israel and Natick, Massachusetts
The writer, a former resident of Stamford and a longtime resident of Waterbury, is President Emeritus of PRIMER-Connecticut, Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting. He now splits his time between the United States and Israel. The evening before Hamas tried to spoil the celebration of the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem, he joined with hundreds of others in Kikar Ha'Atzmaut, Independence Square, in Netanya, to conclude Yom Yerushalayim, commemorating the 51st anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, by singing Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, Jerusalem of Gold.

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