How do we know what Gaza’s people really feel?
Flushing: Excellent op-ed by Jeffrey Herbst (” ‘Ordinary Gazans’ and Oct. 7,” Nov. 14), in which he cites Daniel Jonah Goldhagen’s controversial book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust.” I read this book while taking a sabbatical as a teacher at Francis Lewis High School. I also volunteer at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Glen Cove, L.I.
The book suggests that a unique and virulent form of antisemitism was a cornerstone of national identity, which grew out of medieval attitudes rooted in religion and later secularization. And because of it, ordinary German conscripts killed Jews willingly. Herbst compares that phenomenon with the attack on Oct. 7, suggesting that the violence Hamas perpetuated had deep roots in antisemitism and hatred found throughout Gaza.
Here are some interesting facts to consider: In 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative election by a narrow margin: 44.45% to Fatah’s 41.43%. Also, a recent poll taken of Palestinians in Gaza showed that 31% favored Hamas, 21% favored Fatah and 43% voted neither.
Needless to say, it will be quite a while before all the facts are uncovered. In the meantime, both sides must work hard to resolve this difficult situation. By the way, there were more than 800,000 Jews in the Middle East and North Africa in 1948. I was born in Baghdad, Iraq. My mom had two brothers in New York who sponsored us. My dad’s side of the family moved to Israel, as did most Mizrahi Jews. I’m proud of my heritage, but I’m glad and fortunate to live here! Al Musaffi
Brooklyn: Can someone please organize a protest against Hamas? I think we can all agree that Hamas is the enemy of both Jews and Palestinians. If we can unite against a common enemy, then perhaps we can begin to work together to find a solution. Ursula Kugler
Ridgewood, N.J.: Israel has emptied Gaza’s hospitals looking for Hamas warriors and its headquarters. Israel has been snookered (all war is the art of deceit). One tunnel entrance and a few obsolete weapons have been found. That is not an HQ by any description. Any tunnels in the area may pass under the hospital grounds, not into or out of the hospital complex. Israel must look elsewhere. The Israeli intelligence agencies have failed. That failure has endangered and killed many innocent Palestinians. Peter J. Peirano
Apply it equally
Bronx: If the media used killing civilians as the definition of terrorism, no one could absurdly claim that Hamas did not engage in terrorism. By the same token, terrorism would also describe the bombing of cities by Israel, Russia and, in the recent past, us. It is because we can never admit that our past bombing of civilian populations (after WWII, in which all sides engaged in it) were terrorist acts that people can pick and choose what they consider to be terrorism. The situation is absurd. Randall Borra
West Milford, Pa.: I must disagree with Rep. Jerry Nadler’s op-ed (“N.J. can’t block congestion pricing,” Nov. 19). New Jersey should stop congestion pricing. The fact that drivers are being forced to once again subsidize the MTA makes no sense. Why should drivers be forced to pay for a service they don’t use? I sure am glad I moved out. Robert K. Greco
Bronx: I think the migrants are a convenient scapegoat for a mayor who lacks the chops to really manage this city. Gene Roman
Wait and see
Bayonne: Such hand-wringing by “Mutts” readers over the mistreated dog being abandoned by its owner! I’ll bet dollars to donuts the pooch winds up with his friend, the little girl Doozy. It’s a daily strip — show some patience! Marty Wolfson
East Meadow, L.I.: To Voicers Valerie Costa and Debra Maddalena: I can’t believe that you can not see where the cartoonist is going with the “Mutts” comic strip. Yes, the storyline so far has been sad, but so is real life. There are people who actually will leave a dog tied up and move, and some people actually throw unwanted dogs out car windows or drown puppies. I’m betting that in a day or two, some neighbor walking by will hear the dog barking, go investigate and will take the dog home, and they will live happily ever after. M. Stine
Seemed like a safe bet
Manhattan: My burning question is this: How ignorant is George Santos? He has committed so many crimes and he had co-conspirators in all of them. Did he think he could get away with such blatant crimes while leaving such a lengthy paper trail? He must have thought that since the Republican Party welcomes grifters with open arms, he would be right at home. Richard Simon
We all saw it
Ozone Park: Voicer Thomas Murawski’s letter explaining how Donald Trump did not actually goad his fan club to stage an insurrection falls on deaf ears. From the manner in which he dressed to his hand gestures (notwithstanding the rhetoric), he showed how intensely he moved his dumbbell followers to stage the attack on the Capitol. I’ve heard a few people who weren’t there defend his actions and express support. There is probably a good chance Trump will rise again and dismantle the system of government we enjoy, but if that happens I will say: “Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him.” Ray Hackinson
Little Egg Harbor, N.J.: I have always been aware that polls are flawed. That is why I will make up my own mind. Some would choose to inflict upon us a politician whose wish is to become a dictator over us, and who believes that our votes don’t count, that he can show our government secrets to our enemies, whose friends are the enemies of our country and that the only thing that matters in this world is to denigrate anybody who disagrees with him. He has given the world the idea that we are all low-class, crass, uneducated Neanderthals. I just won’t believe that Americans want this to be what we show the rest of the world we are. This MAGA bull is garbage! America has always been great and all he has done is bring us down to his level. Rose S. Wilson
Staten Island: To Voicer Jason Randazzo: I agree with everything you said. Now send it to “The View”! Those ladies hate, hate, hate anyone who doesn’t agree with them. They call people stupid, always putting down people they don’t like. Maria Saporito
Think before you speak
Brooklyn: Speech, even free speech, has limits and consequences. Choose your words carefully, edit and ponder before you hit “send.” Understand the differences between criticism and hate speech, and the differences between criticism and dehumanization. When you speak or write hate speech and dehumanize a group of people, especially a minority group, it is a heavy blow and has consequences. Ellen Levitt
Commack, L.I.: Re “Old law may stem pot woe” (Nov. 3): I remember when pot paraphernalia was legal but weed was not. Back in the early ’70s, a man stopped by my brother Marcel’s hippie store in Tucson, Ariz., inquiring if there was anything that separated cannabis seeds from the buds. There was none. My brother, a former architecture major, invented a device he named the Marygin, which he obtained a U.S. patent for in 1974. It was officially described as an herbal cleaner, but the logo I created incorporated the familiar cannabis leaf. The gadget was advertised in High Times magazine, among other publications, and sold for $5 each. Despite the device having outgrown its use, since currently cultivated marijuana is seedless, you may occasionally find an original Marygin now selling for $50 or more on eBay. Yvonne Fitzner
Whitestone: My family and I would like to send out a great big thank you to Citymeals on Wheels. They have been a lifesaver for us. Every daily meal they deliver provides not only nourishment but peace of mind. Please consider donating to this wonderful organization. Karin Spiezia