Palestinians denied human rights


To the Editor:

The letter from Allan G. Ross, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, printed in the May 27 issue of The Catholic Messenger, started with the sentence that the first casualty of war is the truth. Mr. Ross’ letter exemplifies that.

I’m sorry, Mr. Ross, but the American people are starting to recognize the truth — that the Palestinian people have been living under a brutal Israeli occupation for over 50 years. The eviction of people from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and the attacks by IDF soldiers upon people at prayer in Al-Aksa Mosque started this recent conflict.

It is also true that Palestinians are denied basic human rights and have a legal right to resist. It is also true that Gazans live in a small area where access to sufficient food, medicines and materials is blocked by Israel and Egypt, making it an open-air prison with inhumane living conditions and no place to escape to from Israeli bombs.


Israel aimed U.S.-made smart bombs at residences, hospitals, schools, a COVID-19 vaccination site and other civic facilities that caused disproportional destruction and death in Gaza. Hand-made rockets fired from Gaza towards Iron Dome-protected Israel were the only means available to attract world attention and support fellow Palestinians in response to the Israeli atrocities taking place in Jerusalem. Nonviolent actions have been ignored. Negotiations have failed to take into consideration the inequality of the powerful occupier over the powerless occupied. Publicity has misrepresented the peace process.

Failure of leadership is indeed true. It includes everyone involved since 1948 up to the present leaders of Israel, U.S., Britain, the Arab  states, the Palestinian  Authority, Hamas and, of course, the powerlessness of the United Nations.  I agree that Christian leaders and well-meaning people throughout the world should protest and carry signs that read… “Free Palestine.”

Sally McMillan
Iowa City

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