Editor, Daily Nexus,

For one so concerned with the historical (and current) suffering of the Jewish people, Joey Tartakovsky shows a startling lack of empathy and understanding.

In his piece, (“In a Hate-Filled World, Israel Stands Besieged,” April 30, Daily Nexus), Tartakovsky suggests that opposition to Israeli policy is due to a particularly virulent strain of anti-Semitism. He does not address the possibility that hostility toward the Israeli regime may stem instead from an honest disagreement with the oppressive and violent policies the Jewish state has carried out. Indeed, rather than facing honest criticisms, Tartakovsky opts to “cry Holocaust,” in an effort to undermine those who question such policies by identifying their movements with neo-Nazism. This tactic serves not only to insult and trivialize the suffering endured by Jews and others during the Holocaust, but also blocks productive discussion of current difficulties and movement toward reconciliation within the region. (Additionally, Israel can hardly be said to “stand alone” as its alliance with the United States, an unquestioned superpower, is ongoing and quite strong.)

Sadly, I do not doubt that anti-Semitism continues to exist in many areas of the world. However, I doubt that it is the driving force behind criticism of Israel. It is disappointing to see Tartakovsky’s utter refusal to acknowledge the suffering of ordinary Palestinian people under the current Israeli regime. One would think that a person with such great knowledge of Jewish history would seek to keep other groups from being treated as second-class citizens or worse.

Violence and oppression, whether they be in the form of suicide attacks, hate crimes against civilians, bulldozing houses or assigning second-class status to a people, are never acceptable under any circumstances. Furthermore, the dogmatic, twisted logic employed to defend these actions is deeply counterproductive and can only serve to prolong and intensify the suffering endured by the common people on both sides of the conflict.