Defending the massacre in Gaza has become a dismal business. I read Martin Jones’ response to Victoria Hugo-Vidal’s March 17 column on this topic and wondered again why anyone would support Israel’s actions. I believe only a history of dehumanizing Palestinians could explain his condescending comment about those who “lament the civilian casualties and think that the solution is a permanent cease-fire.”

Or decades of bland headlines, like the New York Times offered in response to the killing of over 100 Palestinians by Israeli snipers during the “flour massacre,” “As Hungry Gazans Crowd a Convoy, a Crush of Bodies, Israeli Gunshots and a Deadly Toll.” Who did what to whom? (Thanks to Robin Andersen on the Common Dreams website for pointing this out.)

And a background of plain censorship like that of the liberal news channel MSNBC: “MSNBC Draws Backlash for Canceling Mehdi Hasan Show” (Washington Post, Nov. 30, 2023). Hasan had the temerity to question an Israeli government adviser about the children killed in Israeli strikes.

Fortunately in 2024, there are alternative sources of information (Hasan now has his own media outfit), and young people especially are likely to seek them out. And yes, they are angry about the civilian casualties, and they think that the solution is a permanent cease-fire – and limits on billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded military aid to a country whose leader regularly humiliates our president, with no consequences thus far.

So kudos to Hugo-Vidal for her very apt column.

Renee Cote

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