Jerome Chanes in his Opinion piece, “Has Israel Lost Its Moral Balance?” (Aug. 15), sounds like Norman Finkelstein lite. Finkelstein argues that in their murder of Palestinian women, children and men in Gaza, the Israelis have gone mad. Chanes maintains that they are simply unfeeling, and not very different than Hamas.
Let’s step back and examine the Chanes argument a bit more closely. Hamas came to power because the Palestinians in Gaza were disgusted with Fatah’s corruption. But, Hamas is a religiously directed operation, unlike Israel, which, while being Jewish (in the best sense of the word), is, never the less, quite secular. The anger that Hamas feels vis a vis the Israelis is largely based on the very existence of the Jewish state, and secondarily, on its success.
Until Hamas practiced terrorism against Israelis there was no boycott [or attempt to close off the border]. Indeed, there was only the wish that the Palestinians and the Israelis could live together in peace.
When Palestinians in Gaza teach their grade school kids to aspire to martyrdom in the struggle against Israelis, you know that these kids and their moms and dads don’t have a chance. We do not celebrate their martyrdom. And, we can indeed sympathize with the sadness of their moms and dads if their little tykes grow up and die in their effort to succeed in their mission. We feel equally bad if the family dies because Hamas has stationed them besides a rocket being fired into Israel. But, in the end, it’s important that Israeli men, women, and children don’t become their victims.