I read with interest Dina Karam’s submission to the Plymouth Independent (“Rabbi’s travel diary is ‘deeply skewed'”). Karam is critical of Rabbi Estelle Mills’ travel diary, and of the Independent’s decision to publish it, because it is “deeply skewed to highlight the events of Oct. 7 as though they occurred in a political and humanitarian vacuum rather than as terrible consequences of a decades-long illegal and violent occupation of the indigenous people in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.”
Disappointingly enough, Karam’s moralisms are themselves presented without context. No mention is made of the fact that the Israeli government and military withdrew from Gaza in 2005, nor that before the “events” (read: terroristic attacks) of Oct. 7, a ceasefire was in place. Karam seems not to consider Jews indigenous, though they of course are, and concludes the piece by denouncing the “internationally recognized horrors [Israel] is inflicting on a captive and innocent population” – a truly remarkable claim, given that the Israeli military is fighting Hamas, a terrorist organization that has held the population of Gaza hostage since taking political and military control of the area in 2006-2007. Hamas has no qualms about making civilians props in their war, using schools and hospitals as control centers and forcing children to fight for them.
Karam may object that it is not the responsibility of an author of a short piece published in a local newspaper to litigate the complex history of the region. In that case, the same consideration ought to be extended to Rabbi Mills, who should be able to share her perspective without being accused of telling a one-sided story.
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