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Letters to the Editor: I am an 83-year-old Jew who celebrated Israel’s creation. Now, I am outraged

Protesters calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip march through central Jerusalem on April 2.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: I am an 83-year-old American Jew. Whole swaths of my family were wiped out in the Holocaust. When Israel was born, my community celebrated. Israel was a source of pride and elation for many years. (“Netanyahu faces massive protests in Israel. Could the war in Gaza be his undoing?” April 3)

Slowly this glow began to dim, as facts came to light about the historic and ongoing Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians who shared that land.

And now, Israel has turned the savage Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas into an excuse to rain unimaginable destruction on the Gaza Strip. I feel outrage and despair.

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How can a people who have known so much pain throughout history turn around and inflict it on others? It is a betrayal of all the humane Jewish values that I was brought up with.

Incredibly, the U.S. continues to support this catastrophe. We provide Israel with arms and funds and hinder the efforts of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) to provide relief.

As the lives and safety of Gazans are imperiled, Israelis and Americans imperil their souls.

Grace Bertalot, Anaheim

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To the editor: I agree with the letter writer who wrote that the war in Gaza would end if Hamas surrendered and released the hostages.

Although city councils in California have no influence on what is happening in Gaza, why aren’t the people demanding they take a position on the war telling them to pass resolutions calling on Hamas to surrender and release the hostages?

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Everyone forgets there was a ceasefire before Oct. 7.

Esther Friedberg, Studio City

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To the editor: First, just to clarify, I am an 84-year-old Jew and a lifelong political progressive. I am L.A.-born, raised and educated. I believe Hamas is a terrorist organization and that Israel has a right to exist.

That said, I cannot accept our continued supplying of 2,000-pound bombs and other massive offensive weapons to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s genocidal government for use in Gaza.

All of President Biden’s continued pronouncements on greater humanitarian protection and work for a cease-fire are beginning to ring as hollow as former President Trump’s court trial delay tactics, when viewed in the context continued offensive arms shipments.

I truly shudder to think of withholding my vote for Biden in November.

Eleanor Elias Norton, Santa Barbara

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