Letters to the editor: April 1, 2020


Commentary leaves out crucial context

I am writing regarding the recent op-ed in The New York Times that compared Israel’s current coronavirus quarantine to the Israel Defense Forces military curfew of the Palestinians that occurred in 2002 (“Stay Vigilant, Says a Curfew Veteran” by Raja Shehadeh, March 24). The Palestinian author of the op-ed actually lived through that Israeli military curfew. In his op-ed he informed Times readers that during the curfew, “Only Palestinians were under threat. While we suffered, normal life continued elsewhere, indifferent to what we were enduring.”

If the editors of the Times want their readers to believe that they maintain a standard of “honesty in reporting,” they must correct and condemn the writer’s purposeful distortion of the historical record. That record is less than 20 years old and the overwhelming majority of Time’s readers were alive at that time, and with a little prodding, can remember those events.

Any objective observer would make the obvious connection and conclusion that the rare, IDF military curfew of Palestinians in 2002 was a direct result of the unprecedented amount of terrorism that Palestinians were committing against Israelis at that time. In 2002, over 400 Israelis, including infants to great grandparents, were indiscriminately murdered by Palestinian suicide bombers. Israelis were afraid to ride the bus or eat at restaurants. The press also noted at that time that a huge number of Palestinians were in favor of this terrorism directed against Israelis. Many were quoted as being extremely proud of it. 

It is abundantly clear that the writer for the Times chose to distort this history in order to inflame the Time’s readers against the State of Israel. 


 May the Holy One bring the redemption soon, and their hatred disappear.

Dov Axelbaum, University City

 What causes anti-Semitism?

Tragic as it is with all the anti-Semitism occurring all over the world, I simply cannot understand why. 

There is absolutely not one bit of activity among present day Jewish people  — going all the way back to biblical ages — that should provoke such hatred. 

The Jewish people have always, always been on the defensive to protect its people. We are not in any way aggressive and have never shown animosity or dislike to any ethnic or other type of group. 

Bottom line is we keep to ourselves, whether we are Orthodox, Conservative or Reform, and truthfully do not deserve the ongoing adverse activity. 

Howard Sandler, University City