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A world at war, where even cries for accord have blowback

With an Israeli flag in the foreground, supporters of Palestinians rallied on Nov. 13 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Palestinian supporters had met in front of the office of Democratic US Representative Jared Moskowitz, and the Israel supporters formed across the street.Joe Cavaretta/Associated Press

Hopeless divides, here, abroad, across enemy lines and within

As we’ve entered the 90th week of the Russia-Ukraine War and the sixth week of both the Republican congressional meltdown and the Israel-Hamas exchange of brutality, a common thread is emerging: All of the protagonists are reaching for unattainable goals.

Vladimir Putin cannot relinquish his territorial gains in Ukraine without risking his survival, and Ukraine knows any accommodation will only result in more Russian seizures in the future. Hamas wants to see the end of the Jewish state while Israel wants to see the end of Hamas’s existence. Republicans want President Biden to capitulate when they can’t agree within the party on what.


Was there actually a time when these kinds of disputes were settled by a tournament of knights on horseback rather than tons of bombs and rockets? Or by royal marriages that converted international conflicts into family matters? Or by pseudo-parents telling their children to behave themselves?

How did the world arrive at a point where insisting on unachievable outcomes is considered a winning strategy? The result can only be total devastation — a lose-lose outcome that is good for no one.

Dave Sullivan


Fight for justice doesn’t have to be bruising

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” King’s entire life was spent fighting for justice and love of fellow humankind. Both are essential ingredients for society to overcome the willful ignorance among so many regarding current events. With the holiday season approaching, it is important to remember: Be kind. It’s contagious.

Albert P. Cardarelli

Jamaica Plain

Israel is engaging in military strategy, not punishment

I refer to the letter “ ‘An eye for an eye’ means a proportionate response, not an extreme one” (“People of Gaza suffer as Israel and Hamas dig in,” Nov. 11). The writer mischaracterizes Israel’s incursion into Gaza. It had nothing to do with the biblical statement “an eye for an eye.” The attack into Gaza was not intended as punishment for the vicious invasion of Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7. The military action by Israel in Gaza is intended to eliminate Hamas as a threat to the state of Israel and to free the roughly 240 hostages, Israeli and others, who were taken in the invasion.


It is indeed a tragic circumstance that has befallen the civilian population of Gaza. To place the blame on any party other than Hamas and its enabler Iran is misplaced. Did Hamas really think that Israel would sit by after Oct. 7? Parenthetically, Hamas itself could have alleviated much of the suffering of Palestinians by facilitating cease-fires and multinational aid by negotiating a release of the hostages it is holding in captivity.

Lawrence Sperber


Tlaib should be lauded, not condemned, for seeking an end to suffering

Thanks to Representative Ayanna Pressley for supporting Representative Rashida Tlaib against censure (“Pressley condemns censure of Tlaib over remarks on Israel,” Metro, Nov. 9). We are fortunate to have a Palestinian American in Congress who can bring a different point of view to the Israel-Hamas conflict. As Tlaib pointed out in her remarks, criticizing a government (any government) does not mean lack of empathy for a nation’s people. Allowing divergent points of view is why we have the First Amendment.

Both the Jewish people and the Palestinians have been and are suffering tremendously, and to speak out for an end to conflict and to somehow finding a peaceful resolution to the highly charged and complex entanglement of the two should be appreciated, not condemned.


Cynthia Snow


There’s a reason ‘From the river to the sea’ is heard as a threat

In the Nov. 10 edition, a letter to the editor claimed to clarify the aims of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement movement as seeking peace in a shared land (“Brandeis lands in the thick of clashing views over Israel-Hamas war”). One of the three “demands” of the movement is described as “Ending the occupation of Arab lands.” And that’s the rub: What are these “occupied” Arab lands to which the BDS movement refers? According to Hamas and many others, these lands encompass all of present-day Israel, without exception. That is why the chant “From the river to the sea…” is viewed as a call for the annihilation of Israel. This view is supported by the claim that the “occupation” has been ongoing for 75 years — since 1948.

Phyllis Schacht