Dear Letter to the Editor:
As I read Bruce Ticker’s excellent column (“COLUMN: LET THESE FRIENDS OF PALESTINIANS GO – TO JAIL” Boulder Jewish News January 18, 2024), I was struck by the words of Mon Mohapatra who said she participated in blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge to show people how it feels to be trapped in a city that you cannot leave. I suspect she was referring to difficulties that Palestinians may encounter when trying to travel from areas under Palestinian administration into Israel. Palestinians have long been complaining about roadblocks and checkpoints and the presence of security fences. What they won’t admit is that these obstacles to free travel are responses to Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians, attacks which are incited (or initiated) by Palestinian leaders and which bring honor and rewards to the Palestinians who attack and murder Israelis.
Of course, Mohaptra might have been referring to the 6,000,000 Palestine refugees living under UNRWA aegis. A full 99.5% of the “refugees” are people claiming descent from Arabs who fled or were displaced from their homes in Palestine during Arab-initiated violence aimed at preventing the establishment of a Jewish state in the Jews’ ancestral homeland (pre-1948) or at destroying the State of Israel (post-1948).
Fearing that the fleeing (or displaced) 400,000 to 700,000 Arabs would forget Palestine if allowed to rebuild their lives, the Arab League ordered its member states to deny citizenship to them and to their descendants. Rather than attempting to find new homes for the “refugees” or even to find work for them in “camps” that are now cities in their own right, UNRWA has abetted Arab states in keeping the Palestine refugees in perpetual limbo, demanding that Israel must give the “refugees” the homes they claim their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, … lost after 1948, while also inculcating the “refugees” with Jew hatred, allowing terrorist groups to store missiles under UNRWA schools, and to fire missiles at Israeli population centers from UNRWA schoolyards.
Perhaps most galling is the attempt of some “friends” of the Palestinians to claim that there is a moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel, noting that both sides have killed civilians, including children. Two wrongs don’t make a right: Israel must spare Palestinian civilians (alarabiya.net) Of course, they fail to note a significant distinction – Hamas deliberately attacked and murdered civilians (many of whom were, in fact, Israelis who were working to achieve peace with the Palestinians!) ‘The peace movement was orphaned’, says son of activist killed on Oct. 7 | Reuters
In contrast, Israel makes exemplary efforts to avoid civilian casualties. But those efforts are doomed to be less than 100% effective because Hamas uses human shields, storing munitions in homes and hospitals, running summer camps where children are given weapons and are taught to use them, using women and children as decoys and lookouts, even as suicide bombers.
In America, as in Israel, people have freedom of speech. But Bruce Ticker is correct: free speech doesn’t extend to breaking the law and possibly endangering the lives of others. Law breakers should be tried in court and, if found guilty, should be punished appropriately.
Toby F. Block