Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Readers respond

(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

Mayor Gainey, where are you?
Mayor Gainey: You stood with us in solidarity and sympathy after the Oct. 7 slaughter, rape and kidnapping that Hamas terrorists unleashed on Israel on Shabbos and on a Jewish festival. You stood with us when we conducted public Chanukah menorah lightings, shedding light in darkness and commemorating freedom from oppression. I am wondering where you stand now.

The occupation of Schenley Plaza, a public space, is where the First Amendment rights of all Americans should be allowed (“Hundreds of students arrested from Texas to California as college Israel protests continue,” online, April 26). But hate should not be allowed. Signs and chants declaring “Free Palestine” and “From the River to the Sea” are directly calling for the destruction of Israel and the accompanying death of Jews. Signs stating “No Zionists allowed” and Zionists are “pigs” are hate directed at Jews and remind many of us of what was displayed on signs in 1930s Nazi Germany. Fortunately, to date we have not seen significant open violence here, but I have friends who have been yelled at and cursed at, and signs supportive of Israel that have been vandalized, as well as other personal property. Let’s hope a line is not crossed, but allowing the normalization of hate brings that line closer.

Mayor Gainey, I read your general Facebook posts against antisemitism. But I must ask you: If the people at Schenley Plaza were wearing white hoods and robes, would that be allowed? Perhaps a stronger statement from you as the mayor of the city where the worst massacre of Jews in U.S. history occurred is needed. It is needed now and it should be strong.

Yes to the First Amendment, but to groups barring public access to other groups in a public space and calling for their extermination: No. Not now and not here in the City of Bridges.

Rocky Wice
Squirrel Hill

Where was the wrath of protesters after Oct. 7?
I understand and appreciate the severity of the tragedy that has been inflicted on Palestinian civilians in Gaza, but I wonder whether those who are now displaying their rage over what has taken place felt any indignation and wrath when 1,200 Israeli citizens were murdered and hundreds of hostages taken by Hamas (“Hundreds of students arrested from Texas to California as college Israel protests continue,” online, April 26). Did the deaths of men, women, children and infants, and the rapes and burning alive of many, stir the conscience, or was it accepted because it was citizens of Israel who were brutalized? Did those who today demand divestment from Israel ever call for Hamas to lay down its arms, to end an existence which is based on the goal of wiping Israel off the map and killing Jews, and to release Israeli hostages?

I believe in the right to peaceful protest, including on college campuses, but when peaceful protest devolves into vandalism, taking over a building and shutting down an educational institution, the authorities must act to restore order.

Oren Spiegler
Peters Township

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