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(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

Calls for a cease-fire are ‘immoral’
In his Dec. 22 letter to the Chronicle (“Continuation of Israel-Hamas war is ‘immoral’”), Jared Magnani claims that the continuation of Israel’s war efforts against Hamas is immoral. He laments the loss of civilian lives and the destruction of schools and homes. He calls for a cease-fire. However, Mr. Magnani fails to condemn Hamas’ breach of the cease-fire on Oct. 7, and the accompanying gleeful rapes, torture, murders and kidnapping of innocent Israeli civilians. He ignores the fact that Hamas continues to fire missiles into Israeli communities and vows to commit Oct. 7 “over and over again.” He fails to acknowledge that a cease-fire would leave Hamas in control of Gaza and soon result in Hamas continuing its genocidal war against Israel with ultimately greater and more lethal weapons, resulting in even greater loss of life on both sides.

As to the destruction of homes and schools, these are the very places that Hamas stores its weapons and operates. That’s why such buildings have had to be destroyed — and only after warnings are given to evacuate.

Israel must continue its battle until the risk from Hamas and future wars, deaths and destruction is eliminated. Calls for a cease-fire are misguided and immoral.

Stuart V. Pavilack
Executive director, ZOA: Pittsburgh

The response to Oct. 7 will determine Israel’s future
As a Jew whose family suffered greatly from the Holocaust, nearly one-third killed, I wish to reflect on today’s war in Gaza.

There is no question that Oct. 7 is a day that will live in infamy. But the response to this horrific tragedy will determine the future for Israel. At the end of World War I, Germany was ignored and given no sympathy. That made Hitler’s rise to power so much easier: “Blame the Jews; they caused our suffering.”

But after World War II, America assisted both Japan and Germany in their rebuilding efforts and they have developed into two of our most loyal allies.

The mass bombings in Gaza that have resulted in so many deaths, destruction of buildings, and challenges for medical help, food and energy, will only strengthen Hamas’ recruitment for future attacks. There have also been disturbances in the West Bank between Palestinians and Israeli settlers that are cause for concern.

There are no easy answers to the brutality of Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7 and the current war. But it is my feeling that the creation of two states is the best solution if the end goal is to diminish the possibility of another Oct. 7.

Lawrence Ehrlich
Pittsburgh

The #MeToo movement says ‘believe all women’ but ignores Israeli survivors
Most of the world was horror-stricken as video and photographic evidence pointed to the use of sexual assault by Hamas in its attack on Israel.

Eyewitnesses report gang rapes, mutilation and the execution of female Jewish victims by these Palestinian terrorists. Victims ranged from children to teenagers to retirees.

While most of us condemned Hamas for turning rape into a weapon of terror, many “pro-women” groups remained silent. This is especially true of the Squad’s progressive leftist women in Congress.

Squad members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Cori Bush of Missouri have yet to offer condemnation for Hamas’ terror campaign against Israeli women.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, an “advocate” for women’s rights, said in a CNN interview that the situation was “very, very complicated.” When specifically asked about the brutality against Israeli women by Hamas, Jayapal claimed that rape is horrific, but “we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s silence is the most shocking as she is a victim of sexual assault. Like me, she knows trauma associated with sexual assault will compound with other trauma that survivors face. It will follow these victims for the rest of their lives. Yet she remains silent.

The values they claim to share seem to be that even though they believe survivors, they won’t support them if they are Jewish or stand in the way of political goals.

It took 57 days for UN Women to speak about Oct. 7. Jewish women looking to the United Nations were met with silence for months until it finally wrote, “We are alarmed by the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence during those attacks.” Where was this “alarm” eight weeks before? Where was the #MeToo movement?

As the founder of a group that helps women fight back against sexual assault, I can testify that most sexual assault nonprofits are liberal. They claim to support the rights of survivors worldwide, but when it comes to condemning the violence against Israeli women … nothing. These nonprofits get millions in government funding and are key drivers behind bureaucracy preventing survivors from getting care on their own terms. Now they want to prevent Israeli women from receiving that same justice.

Genuine political support of Palestine should never turn a blind eye to the use of rape as a weapon. No matter how much some Hamas supporters try to delegitimatize the victims of these horrific crimes, their defense of rape only delegitimatizes their values.

Those politicians who claim to support women and survivors must do so without prejudice — Israeli women need our support now more than ever and the silence of pro-Palestine political leaders is deafening.

Madison Campbell
Executive director of SURVIVOR PAC
Pittsburgh

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