Compared with Gaza Strip, Israel is a safe place to live

Compared with Gaza Strip, Israel is a safe place to live

In Sunday’s (July 20) Vindicator, there was a column titled “Israelis live in constant fear.” It saddens me to hear about the author’s 80-year-old Jewish grandmother who must quickly get down the flight of stairs to her bomb shelter when the sirens go off, and it deeply saddens me that their children are instilled with fear.

But it also saddens me that grandmothers in Gaza have one minute to evacuate their home before it’s demolished by Israel’s guided, targeted missiles. It also saddens me that Palestinian children are being maimed and orphaned in the Gaza Strip after Israel’s use of banned DIME explosive chemical weapons. And what really saddens me is that 80 percent of the hundreds of Palestinians killed have been women and children.

The reality is that Israel is a safe place, but Israelis are very good at pushing fear. According to the Israeli bureau of statistics, peanut allergies kill more Israelis than Palestinians do each year. The reality is that Israel’s defense minister called for a Holocaust of the Palestinians, an Israeli lawmaker called for the genocide of the Palestinians, and Israel’s interior minister called for sending Gaza back to the Middle Ages.

The reality also is that this has been the fourth outbreak of mass killings against the Gazans since 2008, and sadly, Israel finds a diplomatic way to disguise this as a justified “war” each and every time.

But the worst reality of it all? A Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every third day since 2001. So while I grieve and sympathize with the authors about their 80-year-old Jewish grandmother, she is no longer victim to state-sponsored ethnic cleansing as she was during World War II. The Palestinians of 2014 are.

Ironically, the authors mention Hamas is dead set on eliminating Israel, but this is only one side of the coin. Zionism, the radical branch of Judaism Israel is established on, calls for eliminating all Palestinians from the Holy Land. The authors were quick to ask, “How would you feel if rockets were raining down on the Valley?” But I ask them, and the people of the Valley, how would you feel if someone stole your land, wiped your city off the map, land-locked you and 2 million others on a piece of land one-twentieth the size of New Jersey and then deprived you of human and civil rights for 66 years?

Hanna Kassis, Girard

Hanna Kassis is spokeswoman of the Arab-American Cultural and Educational Center.