To the Editor:
Last week’s article, “Students for Justice in Palestine holds vigil for lives lost in Gaza,” while faithfully relaying many of the events of the vigil, failed to accurately and objectively represent this summer’s incidents in Israel and Gaza. Its most obvious flaw was its misrepresentation of the impetus for Israel’s devastating invasion of Gaza; the Record erroneously reported that the invasion was in response to the tragic kidnapping and murder by Hamas (a terrorist organization that controls Gaza) of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. In fact, the military action began in response to the steady barrage of rockets fired into Israel by Hamas with the explicit intent of killing Jewish Israeli civilians. Israelis have been the targets of frequent rocket attacks for years. In 2014 alone, Hamas has fired 4005 rockets at Israel’s civilian population to date, the vast majority of these attacks occurring over the summer. Israel’s decision to invade Gaza came in response to the upsurge of rocket attacks, not the kidnappings.
Furthermore, the article’s description of the violence between Israel and Hamas, as well as the vigil itself, neglected to acknowledge that Israelis too died in this senseless war. Particularly because of the complex nature of this tragedy and the polarized politics that surround media coverage of it, it is essential that we as Williams students understand all the facts of this summer’s events rather than a skewed and incomplete version of the story.
We long for the day when such a vigil will no longer be necessary in the first place, when the people of Gaza will no longer live and die under Hamas rule without a Palestinian state. We long for the day when both sides will turn to good faith negotiation instead of violence. In the words of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, “Enough of blood and tears. Enough.”
Miranda Cooper ’17 and Carl Szanton ’15