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Washington Post Animation on Gaza "Grossly Offensive"

July 15, 2014

Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post

To the Editor:

The Anne Telnaes animation on your website depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly punching a small Palestinian child in the face (“Israel Pounds Hamas Targets in Gaza,” July 14) while a Hamas fighter looks on is a grossly offensive distortion of Israel’s conflict with Hamas and the realities in Gaza. 

It is particularly inappropriate on the day Israel accepted the terms of an Egyptian brokered cease fire and Hamas rejected it and continued to fire rockets into Israel.

Israel is not deliberately attacking innocent children and there is simply no moral or other equivalency between Hamas’s indiscriminate targeting of Israeli civilians with missiles and rockets, and Israel’s self-defense military actions in Gaza designed to remove the threat from those terrorists responsible for attacking Israelis. Israel has a right and responsibility to protect its civilians from attack, and has demonstrated the utmost restraint in dealing with Hamas’s blatant hostility.

Any and all civilian injuries and death in Gaza are regrettable and tragic. Israel goes to great lengths to avoid harming civilians through a variety of measures, including leafleting and phoning residents of areas located in the vicinity of military operations.  In response, Hamas advises Gaza residents to ignore “Israeli propaganda” warnings and stay in their homes. 

Hamas, and Hamas alone, is responsible for the well-being of the residents of Gaza. If they were truly interested in the well-being of the people of Gaza and halting the growing rate of civilian casualties, the rocket fire into Israel would end and Hamas would accept the international community’s ceasefire proposal. Unfortunately, Hamas appears only interested in prolonging the conflict, and continuing to inflict violence and pain on both Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza.

We urge The Washington Post to remove the animation and apologize immediately.  May I hear from you on this?

Sincerely,

Abraham H. Foxman
National Director 

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