[OPINION] Palestinian-American Feels Like A Stranger In Hometown Westport

Elena — who asked that only her first name be used — is part of a Palestinian-American family. They have been Westport homeowners for over 30 years.

She is a retired New York City school principal, with many years’ experience as a teacher and staff developer. She has an Ed.E. from Teachers College, Columbia University.

She writes:

Until the horrific events of the past 3 weeks, we always felt very fortunate to live in such a beautiful town, with progressive, fair-minded leaders and considerate, friendly neighbors.

In the past 3 weeks though, we have felt increasingly isolated, anxious and vulnerable.

Today I, as a tax-paying resident, decided that my voice, speaking for my family, needs to be heard.

While Westport is still beautiful in all seasons, and we still have wonderful neighbors, the message throughout town this fall is loud, clear and one-sided: “Support Israel! Place Israeli flags on town property!”

I too support Israel, as it seeks to flush out Hamas and obtain justice.

That is its right.

However,  I do not support what Israel is actually doing, and has done in the past, albeit on a smaller scale: exacting revenge on all Palestinians in Gaza.

Everyone knows that more than 8,000 Palestinians, the majority of whom were children, were killed in Gaza by Israeli bombs during the past several days.

More Palestinians are bombed each passing day, as they await death in their homes, hospitals and on the open road.

How can one comprehend these horrific facts and not feel outrage?

This is mass, wanton killing, not the targeting of terrorist killers.

Let’s call it by its name: genocide.

And once again, all Palestinians are effectively de-humanized and perceived to be “terrorists“ in many parts of this country, while being ignored by most elected officials at all levels of government.

I do not think that this will change in my lifetime.

My husband and I, members of a large and proud Palestinian family, are worried sick about our relatives in Israel and Palestine.

We also feel like strangers in our own town, once a refuge. We can only imagine what would happen were we to display the Palestinian flag on our lawn.

51 responses to “[OPINION] Palestinian-American Feels Like A Stranger In Hometown Westport

  1. Bruce Fernie SHS 1970

    Maybe you should have been as vocal condemning what the Palestinian elected government is, what they stand for and what they do when they murder and torture innocent Israelis…

    • Alejandro Garcia

      Bruce, I think she was :

      “I too support Israel, as it seeks to flush out Hamas and obtain justice.
      That is its right.”

      I believe we would all agree on condemning innocent civilian deaths anywhere. It’s not too hard. I have the privilege of having jewish and muslim friends, who have let me know the vitriol they are exposed to. Not in our town, not in my presence.


  2. You may want to display both flags, it may convey the point of your article. Just a thought. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

  3. Janette Kinnally

    It is heartbreaking what is happening on both sides. And praying there will be peace and a solution in your lifetime. I always be there is light at the end and there is hope that there will be peace and a change in leadership eventually. Americans have a voice and they should use it to make change. Also vote in elections to get leaders into power that will stand up for you. That is what freedom is all about. Praying for you and for all the Palestinians and the Israelis – the innocent lives being murdered and tortured must stop!

  4. I agree the Town of Westport has shown a one sided support of this conflict. Having Jewish flags on town property is wrong. I can imagine if this family displayed a Palestinian flag there would be open retaliation. This conflict is horrific! But don’t bring these injustices to Westport by supporting one side.. support Peace and humanity on both sides

    • Westport chose a side! That is ridiculous! The only side Westport chose was civility and democracy and standing against terrorists, Westport would support any country brutally and barbarically having its citizens slaughtered, raped, burned, and rest taken hostage underground. Get out of the bubble. Relatively amazing how many brainwashed bubble-living antisemitic humans stood up for terrorism on oct 8.

    • Elina Lublinsky

      Sir, that would be an Israeli flag, not simply “a Jewish flag”. As you may (or may not) know, this flag represents ALL Israeli citizens, 20% of whom are indeed Muslim, as well as Christian. Again, as you may (or may not) know, the victims of this massacre do include non-Jewish people. Incidentally, the many Ukrainian flags displayed throughout town also represent the citizens of Ukraine, which makes me wonder if you think it’s as “wrong” displaying them as it is the “Jewish” flags. How about an American flag? I may be naive, but I firmly believe that there would not be open retaliation if a Palestinian flag were to be displayed on someone’s lawn. If that were the case, then the author of this opinion piece would not feel safe openly writing this letter.

  5. Palestine must support the eradication of Hamas terrorists. The barbaric acts on 1400 innocent peace concertgoers are unspeakable. There is only one response – eliminate them. If you notice, Israel is doing everything possible to avoid civilian casualties. Hamas still has hostages. Women and children raped, burned and tortured. Westport has people from all over the world and there is no hate here. How did people of Russian descent feel with Ukraine flags everywhere? Westport supports peace. Westport supports getting back hostages. Westport supports eliminating terrorists. If you agree with those things, you should feel at home in Westport

    • Adam – you do not speak for Westport. And your brand of hate is intolerable. Israel has a right to defend itself and seek revenge against Hamas. But if the continues collateral damage of thousands (and growing) of dead innocent Palestinian women and children is something you approve of, that makes you the very hate you claim does not exist in Westport.

      • Alex, my brand of hate? You clearly have a reading problem. Maybe you should enlist in the IDF, go over there and teach them how to free the hostages and destroy the terrorists with no casualties. Any loss of innocent life is terrible and tragic. Amazing how you create hate out of that.

  6. Sandra Lefkowitz

    A sadness and concern for me is that innocent Palestinians are also the victims of Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organizations whose charter calls for the elimination of Jews To achieve this before the barbarism of October 7 they built tunnels to store arms and create a safety net for their plan rather than build institutions that would be for the betterment of civilians of Gaza. The aid has been there and that built the tunnels..

    Israel needs to make clear government changes to ensure a two state solution so Palestinians and Israelis can share the beauty and history of the Holy land. It cannot come as the result of barbarism perpetrated on a legitimate state. A two state solution is an answer but needs a willing partner not a terrorist organization. No Arab country seems to want Hamas infiltrating their country by opening borders and that is the dilemma presented by Israel’s need to declare war.

  7. Unfortunately, with Hamas fully entrenched under schools, hospitals, housing complexes (not sure how these get called refugee camps when they are multi level buildings with full services?) and mosques the only way to get to them and get them out is to create the focused destruction of everything around them. Sad but true. They started this and the message needs to be loud and clear in terms they can understand that their end is coming when they crossed the line. You can’t reason with unreasonable people and this is the only way to bring the point across.

  8. What? Westport chose a side?!? Well, the entire country chose Ukraine when Russian forces invaded, killed, tortured, raped and cut off fuel, water and other humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian civilians. When Hamas, representing the Palestinian people as the ruling government decided to invade a civilian concert and paraglide, send rockets in and kill, rape torture and capture civilians in a surprise attack, we as humans shouldn’t want to eradicate all of these Hamas terrorists?!?
    Palestine and Palestinians must support the eradication of Hamas terrorists. The barbaric acts on 1400 innocent peace concertgoers are unspeakable. There is only one response – eliminate them. If you notice, Israel is doing everything possible to avoid civilian casualties. Hamas still has hostages. They have only allowed a very few to be released, to try to show politically that they are decent. They are NOT decent because if they were they either wouldn’t have taken them hostage in the first place or they would have released all of the hostages right away when they released the first two women, a mother and daughter or the second two elderly Israeli women (maybe with their husbands). Women and children have been beheaded, raped, burned and tortured. Westport has people from all over the world and there is no hate here.

    How did people of Russian descent feel with Ukraine flags everywhere? How have Jews in Westport and elsewhere felt all these years with the clear antisemitism coming out every few years, Jewish temples, community centers always feeling the need to hire additional security when there are large groups of Jews gathering, such as our High Holidays, the most holy days for Jews EVERY year?!? Westport supports peace. Westport supports getting back hostages. Westport supports eliminating terrorists. If you agree with those things, you should feel at home in Westport. Jews are NOT evil, just by being born a Jew. Palestinians are not all terrorists, not all Palestinians hate all Jews or vice versa. However, it seems that many Palestinians are taught to hate all Jews and many westerners. Jews are usually taught to want peace and do good for others. All Israelis in Israel, both women and men are required to be trained and serve in the armed forces so they can be called up at times of war. They are taught to conduct themselves professionally. Are there some “bad eggs”? Probably, there are people doing bad things or illegal things everywhere from all backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities and religions. I believe the majority of people want to be good and want peace and don’t want to do anything illegal or “bad” to others. Unfortunately, Israel is ALWAYS at risk of being attacked therefore, even when the majority of Israelis and Palestinians live side by side and have friendships especially from what I saw personally in Haifa, the people are always worried that something may happen to try to break that kind of relationship apart!

    We who live in the USA and in Westport are lucky and blessed the majority of time that we and our immediate families are safe from being killed, tortured, captured and held hostage, etc. We as neighbors need to embrace each other, whether you’re Palestinian, Jewish, Christian, Muslim or purple with pink polka dots. If you believe in hate, terror and violence, then I don’t want to embrace you, but if you believe in peace and love, then I welcome you into my home and my life! Please try to understand Israel MUST remain to exist and Palestinians who are peace loving should be allowed to live in peace in Palestine, as well.

  9. Michael Brennecke

    Watched the former head of Mossad on PBS last night. He was very concerned that the Israeli government has no plan for the future of Gaza and the Palestinian issue. Essentially, he feels what they are doing just motivates the next generation of terrorism. Our own experience in Iraq and Afghanistan has shown that overwhelming military response is not the answer. What we destroy is just replaced by something worse.

  10. Michelle Caplan

    Westport supporters ZERO TOLERANCE for terrorism just like every person in the world should. The end!!!

  11. Thank you for your courage in speaking out. I am heartbroken by the atrocities of terrorism … and the unbearably painful consequence of war. I pray for all innocents hurt; I pray for peace.

  12. I am so sorry for your pain and fear. I, too, have lived here for 30+ years, and for the first time, I am afraid. I am Jewish, and I’m furious and sick over the anti-semitism here in town, but at least I am part of a large group in Westport. I would love to talk with you as I try to understand this horrific mess we all see playing out in front of us.

  13. Stephanie Gordon

    No one wants to kill innocent civilians. And I disagree with the writer. Israel is not killing Palestinian civilians as revenge. Israel must destroy Hamas bc if they don’t, Hamas will do the same thing again. And Palestinian civilians are being killed bc Hamas has deliberately placed their military operations, arms, supplies, food and fuel taken from civilians, under schools, hospitals, mosques and homes. Doing this to hide among its civilians, knowing that once they attack Israel, Israel must fight them and in that case civilians will get killed and Israel will look terrible in front of the world. It’s Hamas who has created this devious situation. And I’m sorry that any Palestinian is suffering or is even scared here. But no jew in Westport or anywhere in the world is celebrating Palestinian civilian deaths. I cannot say the same about some Muslims who are celebrating the deaths of Jews. And that is very scary. All Israel wants is to live in peace.

  14. Lauren MacNeill

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. This war and its long history is so complicated. I view the many flags that I’ve seen as support for the Israeli people , not the government or the tactics that are or are not used for retaliation. To me its the same as the flag for Ukraine or any other nations flag where the people are attacked. I would feel the same if I saw the Palestinian flag and I would hope that most in town would as well. You would be supporting the Palestinian people who are without a doubt also victims of Hamas. Both things can be true – we can support the Israeli and the Palestinian people.

  15. Kenneth Michael Hibbard

    How can we all live by: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”?

  16. September Stevens

    Thank you, Dan, for letting this voice be heard. I have lived in Westport for sixteen years. Our town is very quick to organize and gather for any group that is unheard and attacked. Driving around Westport right now one would could easily think many residents do not believe that all innocent lives matter. Palestinian civilians are not Hamas. Sadly, at the moment, when I see an Israeli flag in front of a home or on a corner all I can think about is airstrikes on innocent civilians. Israel is not a terrorist group. It has been an UN member since 1949, politically aligned with the west and should be held to the modern rules of warfare including distinction, proportionality and unnecessary suffering. Right now much of the world agrees.

  17. Stephanie Gordon

    September Stevens if Mexico’s govt was taken over by gang warlords and stated they hated the US and made tunnels and built up weapons for years and years hiding under their civilians and continually threatened to exterminate us and was supported by other extremist countries and sent suicide bombers over the last 20 years and then came in and killed thousands of people in Texas and raped them and burned children and did to us what Hamas did to Israel we would obliterate them and no one in the world would bat an eye. It’s only Israel people have different expectations for.

  18. Daryl Styner-Presley

    War is horrific. Hamas has impoverished their own people by directing money towards building their tunnels and arsenals of arms, munitions & bombs for the annihilation of Israel. Hamas has dehumanized their own people by using them as “human shields” with their tunnels under critical infrastructure. Israel has the right to fight for their existence & to retaliate against such horrific acts of murder, torture & rape of its people. Unfortunately, innocent people pay the price, as well. It is not the MO of Israel to kill innocent Palestinians, but Hamas has created the scenario that exists. The Hamas is a terrorist organization, plain and simple. All countries, and all people desiring peace, must agree that they be dismantled.

  19. @Peter marks, there is no such thing as a “Jewish Flag.” That is an Israeli flag. Jewish is not a nationality. It’s a religion. Please educate yourself on the history of Israel and the Jewish people as it will give you a better understanding of the facts, including the ISRAELI flag.

  20. israel has a right to defend it self as we did in 9/11 and ww2 innocent people always die in war. israel will be stronger when this ends. they must do what they have to do to survive.

  21. I believe that Israel is trying to be as careful as can be expected in its highly targeted bombings of Gaza. To date, the number of claimed deaths represents less than 0.5% of the population. Curiously the reported deaths are heavily skewed toward women, children and the elderly. Where are the men? If genocide was intended, the percentage would be more than 100 times as great. Have we not forgotten that the US and its Allies conducted a number of firebombings in Germany in WWII in which many thousands of civilians, estimated at over 25,000 in Dresden alone, were killed. War is horrible. Hamas prepared for years for its horrific attacks and its infrastructure must be destroyed.

  22. Elena, The Jewish people of Westport are not siding against the Palestinian people because we are showing our pride and solidarity with our homeland by putting up Israeli flags. You state ”the message is loud, clear and one-sided: Support Israel! Place Israeli flags on town property!”
    I am genuinely curious what makes you feel “isolated, anxious and vulnerable”. What is the actual threat you are fearing by your neighbors supporting Israel? What is the offense to you or anyone else? And, can you please check yourself for antisemitism, if you can’t come up with any clear answers?

    The flags represent that the State of Israel and the Jewish people are fighting for our survival and right to exist, when millions are against that.
    The flags represent a legacy of over 2000 years of persecution.
    The flags represent that we are a proud nation of people because all those who want us extinguished have not succeeded.
    The flags represent that we have survived against all odds.

    We are really peaceful, as demonstrated by the way we protest, actually rally – through songs, prayer, education, speakers, vigils, etc.
    So, Elena, excuse us if our pride is showing in a “loud and clear way”. We have earned the right to it. AM YISRAEL CHAI

    • I can also add that the flags represent our hostages safe return now; our grief for those lost in the massacres and their families and friends; and our deep love for the Israelites and Israel.

  23. I support innocent civilians living in Israel and innocent civilians living in Gaza. I don’t support Hamas or its terrorist attacks.
    I also don’t support the hard-right Israeli government, which is intentionally perpetrating war crimes according to Amnesty International and the United Nations (a group Westport claims to venerate), among other respected international organizations. Displaying the flag of the country of Israel as a means of showing support to its innocent civils risks aligning yourself with a government committing crimes against humanity. Individual citizens are welcome to do that if that is how you feel, or if they are okay with their good intent being misconstrued. But the Town of Westport is not. In fact, I find the first selectwoman and even police chief’s unrelenting need to insert themselves into international affairs absolutely bizarre, whether that’s Ukraine or this crisis. That is different than dealing with anti-Semitism or Islamaphobic crimes or actions here in town, which is properly within their ambit.

    For those invoking 9/11, ask yourself whether the two-decade-plus military response to that crisis and the millions of innocent deaths it caused was a shining moment for this country or something to celebrate.

  24. Do you know why hamas does not hide in the tunnels of telaviv?
    Because we would never allow it. Free all of the hostages now.

  25. To all of us opposed to hate, bias, discrimination, extremism and rhetoric, please remember to vote on Tuesday to keep extremism out of the BoE.

    Camilio Riano is editor of this horrible website which published this “article “on Monday

    with this quote, Yet, Westport still celebrates Hamas, a murderous, terrorist organization that brags about killing innocents, by supporting their BLM enablers.

    This is not who we are Westport.

    Vote for incumbents Goldstein and Phillips AND fill in the ballot for Jill Dillon !!

    This is not ONLY about our children and great schools but also about our town and its property values !

    • The article you linked to suggests that George Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose. That, is a BIG, FAT, LIE and Camilo Riano knows it. But now that I’ve glanced at “the Connecticut Centinel” itself, I’m not surprised.

      BLM isn’t a movement or an actual organization like Hamas. It was a phrase that summarized public sentiment following the police execution of George Floyd. If you think Hamas is being directed by BLM, I think you don’t understand the scope and intent of Hamas. The display of these words on a plaque does not constitute Westport “celebrating Hamas”.

    • Wake up Lauren, what you’re seeing, reading, hearing is exactly what westport is. The issue is you don’t like what you see in Tyr mirror.

      Save your pompoms. Times are changing.

  26. I am a Jew and proudly display an Israeli flag on my lawn. It’s in solidarity with 1400 civilians brutally murdered. It’s with solidarity with over 200 hostages. That makes someone uncomfortable?!
    Your fear of putting up a Palestinian flag is exactly how many Jews feel all over the world because of the anti-semitism fueled by the “narrative”. Welcome! Fortunately, Westport is a very tolerant town.
    Your wrath should be against Hamas. If they weren’t terrorists we would not be having this exchange. Israel is doing everything possible to spare civilian life, but there is no “balanced response” in this situation. Neither is there some magic alternative to exterminate Hamas without a war.
    Dan, I am happy to send you photos of dozens of death threats and anti-Semitic messages that I’ve gotten over the past 3 weeks on social media. You can write an article about being afraid to be Jewish in Westport as well… just for a “balanced view”.

  27. “War is hell,” said American general William Tecumseh Sherman. But don’t call what is happening “genocide,” which is the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.

    • Yep! Hamas is committing genocide not Israel and that is the crux of the conflict and the trump card for all decisions. This is a war about obliteration, not theological opines. Give Israel whatever it takes. The Palenstinians will be much better off with hamas dead. 🇮🇱🇺🇸👍🏼

  28. Elena

    I am sorry that the current war in Israel and Palestine is creating so much angst and fears for Westporter residents who are of Palestinian or Jewish decent. I hope you, your family and others here in Westport will remember and feel that you are as safe and as accepted by the majority of your neighbors and the people of Westport. When I say majority it is because that is the TRUTH! We are all Americans and as Americans there is no society or country in the World that is based more on the words written into our foundation of beliefs that we are all Americans who believe and have supported the FACT that an individual, person, family and nationality are people who are given the God given Right to Life, Liberty, Safety and Protections and the Pursuit of Happiness and Freedoms .

    I hope as good neighbors and fellow Westport residents we can realize we cannot always affect or change world events in ways that please all beliefs. We should and must keep our commitment to the freedoms and support for our Democracy that is the basis for our country.

    The war and killing on going in Israel and Palestine is a horrible state for those people living in and trying to survive and prosper there. These states of war were brought on by the inhumane treatment of both Palestinians and Israelis that has been ongoing there for almost one hundred years in the modern era.

    I believe as an American that when we display a flag on our property the only flag we should display should be an American flag. In times of world conflicts like this to display another countries flag only seeks to divide us as Americans. I know most use this gesture as one of support for a a particular belief or statement of their personal feelings but in reality these actions only tend divide us as a people and to take sides on the states of countries and further inflame personal actions.
    I for one only fly and display one flag on my property and that is American flag. Do I have feelings and beliefs about what is happening in this horrible war in Israel and Palestine. Yes I do but they are my personal feelings that there are NO GOOD WARS!
    I do not want my personal beliefs and feelings to make anyone let alone my neighbors and friends feel threatened or endangered because of a flag that I post on my property or in public.
    War only divides and destroys us.
    Only respect, love, caring and civility can make us safe and better as Americans in Westport!

  29. Lorraine Shelley

    She is absolutely right…so much for diversity, equity and inclusion. I haven’t seen one Palestinian flag in town although apparently there is one on the bridge. They sure love their flags in Westport -rainbow ones, Ukrainian ones, now Israeli ones – – – Palestinian ones not so much. We should all be standing side by side against crimes against humanity – committed by both sides.

  30. When I opened up the blog and read what our neighbor wrote on Thursday morning, I had a lot of feelings. I sat with the feelings all morning and then I felt compelled to speak up. Mostly I am sad.

    It is horrifying to watch the news or even open up a social media app these days. Everyday since October 7th seems to somehow get worse and not better. On October 7th innocent civilians were brutally attacked in Israel by a terrorist organization, Hamas. Babies were beheaded and burned alive. Women and children were raped until their pelvises were literally broken. Families watched as their loved ones were tortured until ultimately murdered. It was a 9/11 for Israel. It was the deadliest day for Jewish people since the Holocaust.

    Today, Hamas still holds hundreds of hostages in Gaza while they use them along with their own people as human shields. Hamas is known for this. This is not new. They store weapons and headquarter themselves in hospitals, residential buildings, schools. They know the Israelis do not want to cause harm to innocent civilians so they do this to protect themselves. They are cowards literally hiding behind the innocent children in their land. It is unimaginable.

    On 10/7 innocent children and mothers were killed in their beds, today that’s happening in Gaza. Both are horrific. Both are unacceptable. And both are at the hands of Hamas.

    I want to make something very clear, I will not play this game of whose pain is worse or whose life holds more value. I am a mother of young children. No mother anywhere in this world should go to bed wondering if tonight’s bedtime story and kiss would be their last. No child deserves this trauma in their formative years.

    I think I speak for a lot of us Jewish people here in Westport, we haven’t changed since 10/7. We are the same people with the same values. You don’t have to worry about putting up your flag. We are not anti Palestine. We believe the Palestinian people deserve better too. We are anti Hamas. You are safe here.

    We cannot fall for a terror organization’s propaganda. This is what they want. Neighbors turning against each other, having hate in their hearts for each other. We are better than that. The Jewish religion preaches peace and loving your neighbors. I will not hate you.

    With love and peace,
    Your neighbor Nicole

  31. Let’s get some things straight here. It was Hamas that planned, practiced and carried out an unprovoked murderous and deliberately barbaric attack on civilians who were the intended target. Israel is responding as any nation would after such an attack. Such a response is NOT, as it has been suggested, done for “revenge” or to carry out an act of “genocide” against the Palestinian people. Those throwing around the word genocide might want to look it up. It is most distinctly Hamas that fully intends to complete its stated mission of destroying Israel and its people. Now, there’s your genocide.

    Now, let’s get back to what’s really important in Westport, flags and lawn signs.

  32. At some points over last few weeks, 1 side (I know which side but it doesn’t matter which side) was considering getting some ‘expanding’ materials into the tunnels to seal them off, a last resort that would kill and stop the disgusting Terrorist Hamas Palestinians but also of course end the lives of the Israel hostages; and, I thought what that moment for them in the tunnels – Palestinians and Israelis – will be like, when it’s literally both Palestinians’ and Israelis’ last minutes and they know it and they’re alone together. I imagine them holding hands and ‘falling together’ like victims of WTC did on 9/11, i.e, for those last minutes of their lives not caring/thinking 1 bit about what ‘bible’ they read fr, who’s govt claims the land.

    Also, USA needs to spread it’s influence, it’s melting pot goals and resist ltg the tribalism that fuels these conflicts fr seeding and spreading here.

  33. First, I am sad that the writer feels isolated and anxious as a Palestinian American in Westport. This is exactly how many Jews feel across American college campuses and even many large American cities like NY, LA, etc., where the number of people protesting in support of Palestine far outstrips those in support of Israel.

    Second, I think this fact bears emphasizing: Hamas’ goal is the complete eradication of any Jewish state in the current location of Israel, of any size, of any kind. They will not cease their violence until this goal is achieved. Israel could cease its miliary operations today, end the blockade of Gaza and work towards a two-state solution, and Hamas would still employ its violent and barbaric tactics against Israeli citizens because ANY kind of homeland for the Jewish people in the current region is unacceptable to them.

    Thus, Israel is faced with a terrible choice: Attempt to eradicate Hamas, and in doing so drive up civilian casualties because of how Hamas has decided to embed itself amongst Gaza’s citizenry, or continue to expose its citizens to danger that no other sovereign entity would allow its citizens to encounter. It is choosing the former, and while the civilian loss of life is terrible, it’s frankly the choice most countries would make, including ours.

    Finally, re: the comments about Israel and “war crimes”: It seems that Hamas is not held to the same standard. Maybe because they’re known as a terrorist group and that’s just “what they do”?
    Seems to me we’re giving this barbaric terrorist group a pass by not similarly pointing the finger at them around war crimes.

    Oh and one last thing…I’m thinking of a country that has committed similar “war crimes” over the years. Dropped an atomic bomb on Japan, killed many civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Can you guess which one I’m thinking of? Maybe we should petition the First Selectwoman to take down that country’s flag too.

  34. Stephanie Frankel

    I would like to know how Elena is feeling about all of the above comments.

    She is welcome into my home anytime to engage in an open dialogue. Peace can not come without two way communication and understanding.

  35. Dermot Meuchner

    Israel created Hamas by not negotiating with the PLO and PFLP. Netanyahu and the rest of this fascistic government wants another Nabka. They have declared this in the Knesset and the world is watching this genocide and doing nothing. #freepalestine

    • Just as you could argue the current right-wing Israeli government was created by years of Arab and Palestinian aggression and intransigence. There are consequences to years of refusing to even consider a Jewish state in the region (see 1938-1947) and losing wars where THEY were the aggressors (see 1948, 1973). #SaveIsrael

      • Bert S. Twombly

        Ever heard of “the rape of Nanking”? Now THAT was a war crime. Hiroshima/Nagasaki was merciful. It broke the back of a world class “evil empire” and saved the lives of countless more Japanese than it cost. Had we been forced to invade Japan the estimates of dead on both sides are in the tens of millions. War is hell. Hamas started this one. But to equate Hamas with Hiroshima/Nagasaki betrays your bias and your ignorance.

  36. Dermot Meuchner

    War is a racket gentlemen.

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