Letters to the Editor

Reader responds to Harsanyi column

The May 21 Gazette featured a syndicated column by David Harsanyi that dominated the Insight page. The topic was Gaza, and his main theme was that the killing of over 100 Gazans was their own fault. It is interesting reading as a piece of propaganda or fiction. It lacks credibility for several reasons with two being the most important.

His statement on the Nakba stands out. “Their far-flung fantasies regarding the right to return (hitched to the historical myth of Nakba) consume them.” The Nakba, Arabic for catastrophe, refers to the expulsion in 1948 of over 700,000 Palestinians, accompanied by the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages. For Harsanyi to be a “Nakba denier” is tragically ironic, as he would rightfully decry anyone who is a “Holocaust denier.”

He also makes the bold statement that “Israel repeatedly has shown a willingness to make peace with anyone who desires it.” Any familiarity with living conditions in Gaza or most of the West Bank would make one wonder about that statement. Any count of illegal settlements in the West Bank would make one wonder. Any count of the tens of thousands of Palestinian olive and fig trees destroyed by Israeli settlers would make one wonder.

Opposition to the policies of Israel must not be equated to anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is real, is vile and must be opposed. However, the Israeli state’s actions have violated many of the values and traditions of Judaism.

Ed Flaherty

Iowa City

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