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Letter: Don’t resort to throw-away remarks

Published: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 10:37 p.m. CST

To the Editor:

On July 30, the Kane County Chronicle published a letter from Walt Zlotow comparing the current conflict in Gaza with the Nazi horrors against the Jewish people in the Warsaw ghetto. Contrary to the title you assigned the letter, no “valid parallel” exists between the two.

The Warsaw ghetto was created by Nazis as an initial step toward the total extermination of Jews. Gaza is not a ghetto created by Israel. The action of Egypt capturing Gaza started in the 1940s, and Egypt militarily administered it from 1948 until 1967.  

The Warsaw ghetto walls were built to contain the Jews and better serve the purpose of transporting Jews to death camps. Israel has no death camps. The walls in Gaza were built to prevent suicide bombings that were killing innocent Israeli lives; after their construction, suicide bombings fell 90 percent, according to www.nzfoi.org.

Polish Jews did not have the stated purpose of destroying the nation of Germany and used violence as a last resort. Hamas has an express goal of destroying Israel and openly advocates violent action.

The Gaza blockade has been due to Hamas’ policy of violence. On those (rare) occasions in the past when the level of violence was low, Israel allowed Gazans to find employment within Israel, and commerce was allowed to develop. Despite offering the Germans no resistance, Jews weren’t allowed to be employed outside the Ghetto at their previous jobs.

The economic deprivation and low living standards of Palestinian refugees are deplorable, but if their society could focus on economic development – instead of diverting needed resources to their war effort – the well-being of their people would be greatly advanced. Rather than use concrete to build schools, shelter or stores, Hamas uses the material to build tunnels from which to stage raids on Israel.

When Gazans fire hundreds of rockets and mortars to Israeli population centers, these attacks go unreported in the West. Yet when Israel acts decisively to address the safety of its citizens, it is accused of reacting disproportionately.

In 2012, Bernie Farber wrote in The Huffington Post, “Before you compare something to Hitler and Nazis ... don’t.”  He continued, “At that point, the discussion is over; the one using the analogy has lost, for the argument has become irrational.”

The tragedy in Gaza and Israel is incredibly complex. Let’s not resort to cheap and irrational throw-away remarks.  

Paul Glaser

St. Charles

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