Re: “Attacking Seattle Jews does not resolve Middle East Conflict” [May 22, Opinion]:
It saddens me that when people bring up Palestinian suffering, it is often equated with anti-Jewish sentiment. Similarly, Op-Ed author Regina Sassoon Friedland is equating freeing Palestine, asking Israel to leave occupied territories and boycotting Israel for its oppression of Palestinians as equivalent to the eradication of the State of Israel. For decades, thus have voices raised for Palestine been muffled — by false equivalencies branding the recognition of Palestinian suffering as anti-Semitic and sanctioning Israel as a desire for its eradication.
Israel is a nuclear power with perhaps one of the best militaries and secret services in the world. Hamas poses no existential threat to Israel, but Israel poses an existential threat to Palestinians. Israel does not recognize Palestine and Hamas does not recognize Israel. If Israel ends the occupation of Palestine, Hamas and its extremist policies would have no role in the new world order. Hamas is a symptom of the suppression, not the cause. The root cause has always been the occupation.
Friedland asks how liberals can align with Hamas. Alignment is incidental. The liberal cause is to believe that one life is equal to another life, be it Israeli or Palestinian.
Aisha Shafique, Sammamish
Editor’s note: This letter, originally posted May 24, was updated May 26 to reflect the changing nature of the Israeli army’s global ranking.