Palestinian supporters protest at Columbia University in Manhattan Oct. 12.

Palestinian supporters protest at Columbia University in Manhattan Oct. 12. Credit: AP/Yuki Iwamura

Race, religion aren't at conflict's core

The best way to educate people about antisemitism is to distinguish Zionism from the Jewish people so they understand that the state of Israel does not represent the views of all Jews [“Teach students not to hate,” Editorial, Nov. 16].

The key to teaching people not to hate is to redirect their outrage toward productive outcomes. As the editorial said, criticism of the Israeli government is legitimate. Also, it’s important to recognize the cultural diffusion between Jewish and Arab people in the region, which will mitigate the divisive animosity those groups have for each other.

If young people understand that national sovereignty, not religious or racial tribalism, lies at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, then there would probably be less antisemitism and Islamophobia. People are a lot less likely to express hatred along racial and religious lines if they realize that race and religion do not lie at the core of this conflict.

— Erik Marcinik, Huntington

The antisemitism coming from academia, especially educated, intellectual college professors, is both shocking and inexcusable [“Call for teaching Holocaust,” News, Nov. 9]. That they would willingly buy into terrorist organizations like Hamas indicates their level of ignorance about the true history of Israel, which they call an apartheid country.

Israel did not initiate any of the wars. Israel airlifted thousands of Ethiopians out of Sudan and brought Yemenites and other persecuted Middle East Jews to safety. Israel, after each war, still allowed the Arab residents to remain in Israel and enjoy representation by vote in the Israeli parliament.

Israel has tried repeatedly to peacefully negotiate with the Palestinians, only to be rejected because the Palestinians prefer their own solution, “from the river to the sea.” All of this while every single Middle Eastern nation expelled their Jewish population.

So who are the ones really practicing apartheid?

This war has contributed to the resurgence of blatant antisemitism which has been flying under the radar for decades. Clearly, history has shown us that antisemitism never really went away.

— Beverly MacDonald, Lake Grove

As massacres of Palestinians worsen day by day, groups like Jewish Voice for Peace have held numerous protests to demand a cease-fire. Although there is unanimity in our condemnation of Hamas’ brutal attacks against Israeli civilians, the Jewish diaspora is divided regarding Israel’s response to Hamas.

A recent poll by the Jewish Electorate Institute reveals surprising results: 91% of American Jews believe one can be critical of the Israeli government and still be pro-Israel, and 76% believe one can criticize Israel’s war with Hamas and still be pro-Israel. And only half feel “very attached” to Israel.

Zionism is a movement, not an ethnicity. Indeed, some Jews oppose Zionism. Many Jews now feel tripartite grief: We mourn the murders and kidnappings on Oct. 7; we mourn the massacres of Palestinians in our name in the war; and many are distraught at the dangerous lie that all Jews support Israel’s policies.

It is dangerous and wrong for the Anti-Defamation League to call Jewish peace groups antisemitic. Their conflation of antisemitism with criticism of Israel wrongly defines many Jews as antisemitic.

— Josh Dubnau, Huntington

Israelis, Palestinians must agree on peace

No one should question the fact that teaching children is the answer to a mo re peaceful world [“Teach children history with facts on Mideast,” Letters, Nov. 19].

One of the many facts about the conflict in the Middle East that children need to know is that it is caused by both Israel and Palestine’s inability to agree on a way to create two independent countries that could live together in peace.

The greatest issue in the way is that about half a million Jewish settlers now live in the West Bank on land that was never a part of the creation of the state of Israel by the United Nations in 1948.

— Leo Montagna, Calverton

Women across America and much of the world have marched, protested and signed petitions in solidarity with victims of rape and sexual harassment. Organizations that decry sexual violence as a weapon of war have done the same.

Yet, when the victims of public gang rape, some beheaded and dragged through the streets naked, are Jewish, these same anti-rape activists remain quiet. Their masks are off. Their silence is deafening.

— Naomi Silverberg Schwartz, Levittown

The hypocritical protests from many on the left about Israel’s invasion of Gaza are sickening. Where was the outrage after the despicable attack by the murderous Hamas? Did we hear much of a peep? Hamas knew that Israel would retaliate as they have.

Those vile cowards hide behind innocent civilians. Could they care less about their Palestinian brethren? The brainwashed supporters here are a sign that our country is in trouble.

— Bob Schwartzman, Syosset

If the terrorists who crossed Israel’s sovereign border and slaughtered more than 1,200 innocent people on Oct. 7 seek refuge using innocent civilians as shields, it’s even more obvious why they need to be annihilated.

— Roger Rothman, Commack

Jacobs missed out on rebutting GOP

Once more, Jay Jacobs, the Nassau County Democratic Party chairman, comes up with excuses for Democratic losses [“GOP gains on LI while Dems surge elsewhere,” News, Nov. 19]. It is his job to rebut Republican issues and make sure Democrats promote ones that will resonate with voters.

He has now failed as Democrats in Nassau County underperformed three years in a row.

— Robert Kleinman, Port Washington

Most voters in my district couldn’t have told you who was running on the Democratic line. I passed nothing but Republican signs on lawns, fences and even street signs all around this area.

Local Democratic candidates apparently were underfunded and ignored by the party.

— Arleen Breen, North Lynbrook

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