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Letter: Hamas’ fight

I must reply to the untruths in the Miami Herald editorial reprinted in The Recorder on Aug. 8, because they mislead and mis-educate readers who struggle to make sense of the tragedy unfolding in Gaza. I refer to Frida Ghitis’ “Hamas’ Strategy.”

True, “Hamas cannot best Israel in an open military confrontation.” But not true that Hamas “took on” Israel just to make Israel look bad and “to revive its standing and avert its collapse while putting Israel in the morally wrenching position in which destroying rocket launchers … means inflicting civilian casualties.”

Whether we agree with Hamas’ strategy or not, it has a legitimate right to fight for freedom from Israel’s oppression. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

True, Hamas was suffering a crisis from the loss of tunnels into Egypt and Egypt’s closing the Rafah border crossing, thus sealing Gaza’s prison gate. But not true that they then resorted to kidnapping and killing three Israeli teens to provoke Israel into its “morally wrenching position.” It is now generally accepted that that horrible crime was carried out by two renegade men who did not seek nor receive Hamas approval for their action. It did, however, give Israel the excuse for a brutal witch-hunt for Hamas members throughout the West Bank. If you are looking for provocation, this three-week rampage by the Israeli army might have provoked many rockets into Israel from Hamas.

True, Hamas’ rockets are “building up more support for Hamas … even if the ones dying are mostly civilians.” So we must ask, why would the dying and dispossessed civilians continue to support Hamas? Many Gazans have been quoted lately as saying they prefer Israel’s bombs to the slow death they have been experiencing since Israel and the international community closed Gaza’s borders seven years ago in order to isolate “the terrorists” — 1.8 million terrorists? Are there no civilians?

SHERRILL HOGEN

Charlemont

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