Greenfield Recorder, October 26, 2023
By SHERRILL HOGEN
On Oct. 7, Palestinian militants burst out of Gaza and invaded Israel. They broke through fences and walls built by Israel to keep them out — or rather to keep them in.
To keep them inside Gaza, under surveillance and deprived of control over their most basic needs: for food, electricity, water, building materials or fuel. They have been living like this for 16 years. Then they broke out of this “prison” with deadly intent and force. They started a war against their oppressors. They have been brutal, but they are not terrorists. They are people who are trying to escape from their prison.
Israel’s retaliation has been brutal as well. Israel is dropping bombs on civilian targets in Gaza: hospitals, apartment buildings, schools, mosques. Israel has cut off food and fuel supplies to 2.2 million Gazans, and is doing the same in the West Bank, though our news media does not report on it. I have a friend in the
Hamas’ war will not bring freedom. Israel’s retaliation will not bring them security. We who are not at war on our land must call for a cease-fire and an end to the imprisonment of Gaza.
West Bank city of Nablus who writes: “We are going through very hard times. All the cities, towns, and villages are closed and under continuous attacks from the Israeli army and settlers. Basic items like petrol and food stuff are either not available or becoming very rare or expensive to get. Kids are not going to schools because of the current situation.
“There are calls for settlers from some Israeli Ministers like Ben Gvir to attack Palestinian cities and villages and kill as many as they can.
“I pray for peace! “God help us!” Labels are sometimes helpful. Attacking civilians is a war crime. Israel is an apartheid state. The Palestinian Authority is a collaborator with Israeli security. The U.S is the supplier of military resources to maintain the occupation.
However, calling Palestinians terrorists is not helpful. This label takes away the legitimacy of their complaints. We may not like their tactics or agree with their strategy, but they are humans fighting back, saying no to their imprisonment without trial.
Personally, I believe that violence does not solve problems. Caging an entire population is violent, and has produced this Hamas offensive. Hamas’ war will not bring freedom. Israel’s retaliation will not bring them security. We who are not at war on our land must call for a cease-fire and an end to the imprisonment of Gaza and the occupation of the rest of Palestine. We must not send endless weapons to Israel or the Middle East.
Please call your congresspeople and be a voice for peace.
Sherrill Hogen, an activist for nonviolence, lives in Charlemont.