To the Editor:
Last week’s letter by a member of Jewish Voice for Peace defending its response to the Oct. 7 massacre of some 1,400 Israelis should not go unanswered — especially the writer’s claim that the organization “has never said it supports Hamas.”
What was JVP’s response some 24 hours after Hamas terrorists gunned down, decapitated and burned alive1,400 people—three-quarters of them unarmed civilians? A 530-word statement with a conclusion that can be summarized as: The Israelis had it coming to them.
The statement repeats the claims of global anti-Zionists and anti-Semites that Palestinians are “humiliated” “suffocated,” “traumatized” and “oppressed” people living uengaged in “war crimes” in collaboration with the United States. There is zero recognition of Hamas’ responsibility for Palestinian suffering and its publicly stated and written goal of annihilating the Jewish State, with Oct. 7 providing a sample of what that would look like.
All JVP had to say about the atrocities committed on Oct. 7 was this: “Palestinian fighters from Gaza launched an unprecedented assault, in which hundreds of Israelis were killed and wounded, and civilians kidnapped.”
By referring to Hamas terrorists as “Palestinian fighters,” JVP would have you believe that they acted no less courageously and audaciously than, say, the Allies on D-Day when they engaged in the “equally” unprecedented invasion at Normandy.
Even JVP’s concession that “hundreds of Israelis were killed and wounded” is meant to obscure the extent of Hamas’ crime. It leaves the reader free to speculate that most of the casualties might have been IDF soldiers who fell on a battlefield opposing Hamas militants, and that these “hundreds” perhaps were wounded combatants, not dead civilians.
As for the brutal taking of hostages to be used as shields and bargaining ships, this, too, is reduced by JVP to “civilians kidnapped.” Never mind that they actually number in the hundreds, some 240 by current estimates, including at least 33 children, one of them a baby 9 months old.
This needs to be emphasized: Adjusted for population-size differences with Israel, a single day’s toll in the U.S. would have amounted to 52,000 American dead and nearly 9,000 hostages taken.
So yes, JVP can take a moment to utter the cliché, LWe grieve the lives of those already lost.W But here s what one JVP activist had to say at a pro-Palestinian sit-in and rally it organized late last month in Grand Central Terminal: Hamass actions were consistent with PalestiniansP right to resist. Sounds like an explicit endorsement of Hamas — and of murder — to me.
JVP is as much a genuine representative of Jews and peace as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (aka North Korea) is a proponent of democratic governance.