Be careful with words


To the editor:

(re: “Seeing the real side of electeds,” May 16)

I was horrified to read Jennifer Scarlott’s May 16 letter to the editor, which included false statements about Israel.

She claimed that Israel “conducts genocidal policies and discriminates against Palestinians and other Arabs.” Israeli forces, while working to protect the entire Israeli civilian population from targeted missile and fire balloon attacks coming from Gaza, go to lengths to avoid civilian casualties on the other side.

This is most difficult because terrorists seeking to kill Israeli civilians often use schools and hospitals as cover for their operations.

Many Palestinians work in Israel. Arabs in Israel take part in every level of society. Yes, there is room for improvement in every society, with Israel facing particularly complex cultural challenges. But Ms. Scarlott’s blanket condemnation does Israel an injustice.

Israel on the whole is a caring society. Israeli rescue teams can be seen all over the world, using medical and technical skills (painfully acquired from decades of terror attacks against the Israeli population) to help refugees and victims of natural disasters — including many from the Arab world.

At this time of rising anti-Semitism, physical attacks against Jews, and international attempts to denigrate Israel, Ms. Scarlott’s words could fuel hatred and violence unless readers question then. U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s words that insult Israel and Jews also contribute to this rising hatred, when she is not alternating them with placating words.

In the service of living together as a multi-cultural society, we should all use the power of our words responsibly. Destructively used words put us all at risk.

Alisa Eilenberg


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Alisa Eilenberg,