Only one side of this ongoing tragedy is armed with my tax dollars

Dear Tim Wessel: Your recent article about antiwar protests ["Few Signs of Support. Literally,"] begs for a response. Let me begin by simply saying: I share your anguish at the horror unfolding in Israel and Gaza, and at the intense reactions this violence has evoked among so many heart-weary people here in Vermont.

However, as a Jewish American whose parents lived in Jerusalem for 10 years - my father was a member of the Zionist Youth Movement in Hitler's Germany, and my mother often stood in Jerusalem with the Women in Black to protest the mistreatment of Arabs in the Occupied Territories - I was deeply disturbed to read your assertion that "most of the protesters [do not] fully understand the politics of the Middle East."

And as someone who has lived in both Israel and the West Bank, I am wounded by your assumption that, because you've "become friends with many Jews throughout Windham County," you can speak for all of us "who have family and friends in Israel."

But setting aside these - and the many other - discomforts provoked by your article, I'd like simply to respond to the central question that seems to animate your entire piece: "Why do I not see any signs condemning Hamas or insisting on the return of hostages?"

For me, there's a pretty straightforward answer:

Though there have been terrible depredations on both sides of this ongoing tragedy, there is only one side being armed with my tax dollars.

So, as an American, if I do not protest what Israel is doing, it is Palestinians in whose suffering I am complicit.

Steve Wangh


This letter to the editor was submitted to The Commons.

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