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An Open Letter to Nicholas Kristof

17 25 0
04.06.2021

Nicholas Kristof, the well-known New York Times columnist, wrote a piece this week entitled “Were My Criticisms of Israel Fair?” As he put it, he experienced “pushback from readers” who questioned his earlier thoughts on “the recent Gaza war.” This column was a response to those readers.

I have considerable respect for Kristof, although I don’t always agree with his views on Israel. In this case, I thought his argument fell short in several important ways.

Addressing the question of how Israel should deal with Hamas, Kristof cites three responses to terrorism: by India against Pakistani groups, by Spain against ETA (Basque separatists), and by Britain against the Irish Republican Army (IRA), suggesting that each of these three countries evinced more “restraint and wisdom” than Israel.

What’s wrong with this argument?

First, Kristof suggests that Israel’s policy lacks “restraint and wisdom.” To the contrary, it’s quite clear that in this latest round of Hamas-triggered violence, Israel indeed acted with considerable restraint and wisdom, even as the challenges were compounded by Hamas’ cynical use of human shields. Israel used surgical airstrikes, not ground forces. Its weapons were extraordinarily precise. It went to great lengths to warn civilians in advance to vacate locations compromised by Hamas operatives. And it even aborted certain........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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