Stony Brook Film Festival
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The Context Of Hate
Tue, 09/04/2012

The heinous and dastardly act perpetrated by Israeli youth has been rightly condemned and will justifiably be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (“Attack On Arab Youth Seen As Wake-Up Call,” Aug. 24).

But we cannot lose sight of the hateful atmosphere and behavior confronting Israel and its citizenry by Israel’s enemies. Jews are demonized, threatened, and brutally attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah and their puppet clerics and minions. Perhaps you should have pointed out that none of the Israeli young people charged in the attack will have their names and faces glorified in Israeli public squares or be sanctified in large religious forums before hordes of cheering hatemongers preaching genocide and annihilation. Perhaps we should note that a sizable percentage of Israel’s population doesn’t (won’t) serve in the military protecting the state, or that the large Arab minority won’t (can’t) sing our national anthem or fathom its relevance or stand with us and empathize on Yom HaZikaron or Yom HaShoah. Nothing occurs in a political vacuum.

Don’t excuse this abhorrent act. But accentuate the differences in Israeli and Palestinian society and culture. Remind the world — remind the U.S. — that we are better than this. But this behavior is not caused solely by what Israeli kids hear in the home, as was alluded. If the vile discourse and hateful vitriol from the Arab sector, both within and without Israel’s borders, is eliminated or toned down, and its Arab citizenry becomes a viable, tenable participant in the fabric of Israeli society, then maybe we will have a partner in promoting that long-awaited “shalom.”

Hillcrest, Queens

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