Letter to the Editor

Emily Salzhauer, Staff Writer

Last week an opinions piece by Jacob Shaw and Yasmeen Masoud titled Activists: Include Palestinian Rights in your Conversations presented a one-sided view of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

When discussing the conflict, it’s important to understand the historical background behind the issues. Since its founding, Israel’s very existence has been threatened by all of its neighbors in the Middle East, particularly Palestine. For decades, Israel and the Israeli people have had to face Palestinians attacking their civilians through bombings, rocket strikes, and other violent attacks. This existential threat to Israel’s existence has led to the extreme security measures in place today. Though they may seem intense to some, they are a reaction to the decades of violence and harm that Israeli civilians have suffered through.

It may be hard to understand why the Israeli government has imposed such strict safety measures. Imagine this: each time you board a bus, you are worried that it will blow up. At night, you’re afraid that you will hear the sirens announcing a rocket strike and warning you to get to a safe shelter. This is what Israeli citizens, my extended family included, have to worry about daily and this

is why the Israeli government has put these security measures in place.

It is also important to understand that Israel is not only a home for the Jewish people, but rather for all of the Abrahamic religions: Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Israel has a large population of Christian and Muslim citizens who are given the same protections and rights that any Jewish citizen has. All Israeli citizens, regardless of faith, have had the same access to its vaccines and healthcare, among other resources.

I would like to remind the community that Israel is the one land that was created by the international community for the Jewish people and, since its founding in 1948, has been the only refuge for Jews during our most desperate times, such as the aftermath of the Holocaust and, during past decades when there has been a resurgence of antisemitism in France and other countries around the world.

This letter speaks to the fact that current events are complex – but it is important that we consider the facts and history on both sides and continue to educate ourselves. I appreciate Jacob and Yasmeen for raising this important issue to the HM community.

Sincerely, Emily Salzhauer (10)