We must confront paradox of Palestinian suffering and Hamas's atrocities

WEST DOVER — How history repeats itself. As I encounter people saying that the Palestinian situation justifies the barbarism of Hamas, I think of the American leftists who wouldn't hear anything against Joseph Stalin.

In his 30 years of power in Russia and, later, the Soviet Union, Stalin engineered the murder of millions -all in the service of creating a Communist utopia.

He called for the eradication of the Kulaks, or peasants who owned more than 8 acres of land. He imprisoned in the Soviet gulag system - or simply murdered - anyone deemed an enemy of the state. His policies exacerbated the Ukrainian famine of the early 1930s, starving millions.

These horrors were rationalized as the ends justifying the means.

The Hamas agenda is a very far cry from utopian. Its credo reduces women to chattel, calls for the eradication of not only every LGBTQ person, but all Jews and Christians as well.

Free speech is not tolerated, the media is suppressed, as is all political opposition. Nongovernmental organizations are eviscerated; all independent mechanisms for accountability, destroyed.

It is difficult in the face of terrorist violence to allow for nuanced ideas. It is hard to consider two opposing facts (Palestinian suffering and the atrocities Hamas commits in the name of liberation) at the same time.

But we must.

We bystanders cannot conflate the desperation of Palestinians - whose lives have already gotten immeasurably worse due to these terrorists - with the Hamas specious claim of noble struggle for the underdog.

This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.

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