October 6, 2014

I'm not a political activist, but the things that I have read about the news in Gaza has made me think more. Mainstream media coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict tends to be biased and constrained.

Even some Jews complain that they cannot criticize Israel's policy on Palestine without being branded anti-Semitic or as Jews without the backbone to defend Israel.

What seems odd is the seeming suppression of freedom of speech even for those who merely want to express sympathy (without political motives) for the victims of the egregious Israeli military attacks on Gaza that left thousands of Palestinians dead, injured, maimed, homeless or displaced.

For example, a handful of celebrities who dared to express their sympathy for the Gaza victims were branded as stupid, anti-Israel and pro-terrorists.

Why should this be? What's wrong to offer prayer and condolence for victims of man-made catastrophe? Why is it that the only politically correct posture toward such horrendous bloodshed and destruction is apathy or silence?

Even harder to understand was that the United Nations waited weeks before stating its disapproval of what the government of Prime Minister Netanhayu had committed in Gaza.

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres has asked Pope Francis to found a United Religions parallel to United Nations. Peres said, "The UN has already run its course"; it has ceased to be a body that can effectively broker peace among nations.

In his opinion, only Pope Francis has the respectability and clout to persuade people of different faiths to come together and become the moral voice in a world full of victims.

Celia Paz

Letter to the Editor – 11/03/14