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Hamas does not deserve moral cover for its actions

Israel is a sovereign nation, governed by the rule of law; Hamas is a terrorist organization that spreads hate and violence. Israel, as the only democracy in the Middle East, is a key ally of the United States; Hamas proudly and publically aligns itself with Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.

Palestinian Israelis share the same rights and responsibilities as Jewish Israelis: they have their own political parties and are represented in the Israeli Knesset (Parliament). However, no Jews are permitted in territory controlled by Hamas, nor if they have their way will any be allowed to remain in Israel.

Israel uses its weapons to protect its citizens; Hamas cynically uses its civilians as human shields to protect its weapons, storing them in schools, hospitals and mosques. The Israeli military is taking unprecedented precautions to protect the lives of innocent Palestinians, by calling them on their cellphones to warn them away from impending attacks, and by dropping precision inert bombs on their rooftops before live ammunition so that they can escape; Hamas purposefully sends its rockets towards Israeli population centers with the intent of causing as much carnage as possible.

Hamas would rather see Palestinian children die than Israeli children live, and are committed to the utter destruction of the State of Israel. So long as the world grants Hamas the false legitimacy of moral equivalency there will never be a true, lasting and secure peace for Israelis and Palestinians, and both will continue to suffer.

Rabbi Gary Pokras

Temple Beth Zion

Amherst