On December 3, 2014, the Schenectady Daily Gazette published a deeply disturbing guest columnist’s article entitled ‘Reverend right to speak out on treatment of Palestinians.’ In his response to the newspaper, Mashberg clearly states that there can be no comparison made between Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and the atrocities committed by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
Holocaust not same as Israel-Palestine
Re Dec. 3 guest column, “Reverend right to speak out on treatment of Palestinians”: While George deBlois’ deep concern for the plight of human suffering is commendable, absolutely no comparison can be made between the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the atrocities committed by the Nazis against the Jews.
In stark contrast to the Holocaust, there is no Israeli ideology, policy or plan to persecute, expel or exterminate the Palestinian population — nor has there ever been. To accuse Israel of “genocide” is to pervert the meaning of the word. Israeli policies toward the Palestinians are based on its need to defend its population from terrorism, incessant incitement to violence and rejection of the Jewish state — key reasons why efforts to negotiate a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have failed.
Violence and bloodshed are abhorrent; that is why the parties and the international community must strive to create the proper atmosphere for a two-state solution.
Those who compare Israel’s actions with the Nazi genocide often lack sufficient understanding of both the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust. The reality is that many individuals who equate the two intend to demonstrate blatant hostility toward Jews, Jewish history and the legitimacy of the Jewish state of Israel.
That disturbing mindset does nothing to advance the cause of peace; it only sets it back.
Gregg M. Mashberg
New York City
The writer is the New York Regional Board Chair of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).