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Killing fields



To the editor:

Imagine a situation whereby law enforcement identifies a murderer. Then, they proceed to level the town where he or she was last seen, collaterally killing the area’s residents. That is exactly what Israel is doing, on a much larger scale, in response to the heinous acts committed by Hamas on Oct. 7. Aerial photos of northern Gaza showing residential neighborhoods obliterated by Israeli air attacks bear witness to a war crime in response to a war crime. In four weeks, Israeli bombardment has killed more children (more than 4,000, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) than have died over the past four years in war zones worldwide.

No one should be surprised. As William Shakespeare noted, “what’s past is prologue.” Israel has a long history of abusing Palestinian Arabs during the fog of war. Many of the “military” actions Netanyahu has taken in this war — forced evacuation, carpet-bombing civilian structures, shutting off water, power, medicine and fuel supplies — are the same tactics that labeled Vladimir Putin a war criminal in Ukraine.

It is also a prescription for failure; it will only bring more violence and not the peace Israelis and Palestinians of good faith long for. The only appropriate response to the Oct. 7 atrocities was to carefully and patiently root out the terrorists directly involved and bring them to justice, regardless of how long such an effort might take.

Let’s be clear, the state of Israel has a right to exist. That is equally true of a Palestinian state.

Unfortunately, Israeli leaders, past and present, have blocked every effort to establish the two-state solution first laid out by the U.N. in 1947. The longer Israel resists this common sense solution, the longer peace will remain elusive.

Joseph Cannisi


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