I have a few questions for columnist Lana Payne (“Is a just peace possible?” The Weekend Telegram, Aug. 9).
1. How many times have you attended the Holocaust Memorial service here in St. John’s and cried when the names of gassed and cremated Jews of all ages was read?
2. How many articles have you written about the Holocaust and the recurring anti-semitism (not anti-Zionism) all over the world, including in Canada? Where is your outrage at attacks on Jewish schools, synagogues, homes and random, innocent Jewish people in many parts of the world, including here in Canada?
3. Under what rock have you been hiding that you seem to ignore that the only reason there were so few Israeli civilian casualties is because Israel, unlike Gaza, has built bomb shelters in every building in the country, has implemented a safety protocol (Israelis hear a siren and have 15 seconds to get into the nearest bomb shelter) and has developed and implemented Iron Dome?
4. What type of journalist are you that you seem to ignore that Hamas “encourages” (read force or strongly persuade) the inhabitants of Gaza to act as human shields instead of running away when Israel Defense Forces warn, by leaflets, phone calls and texts, days in advance, of an upcoming bombing?
5. Where is your outrage at the knowledge that Hamas has fired rockets from and stored materiel in homes, schools, UN shelters, hospitals and other civilian places, knowing these will be bombed, so that they can complain about horrendous casualties while their leaders are hiding in concrete bunkers or in Qatar?
6. How do you know that the information given to journalists by Hamas about casualties is accurate?
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How do you know that so many dead were innocent civilians? The majority of the dead appear to be males of a certain age, very likely to be actively involved in the war.
Journalists in Gaza were not allowed to go where they wanted nor to report everything they saw. They were directed to the areas of most destruction and watched carefully. Remember Jenin? The actual casualties were a fraction of what was initially reported, as well as the number of buildings destroyed.
7. Do you realize that, while Israel uses rockets to protect its citizens, Hamas uses citizens to protect its rockets?
8. Did you know that Israel has continued to supply Gaza with free electricity and has been sending tonnes of basic supplies to civilians even throughout the ongoing conflict? That Gazans are being treated in Israeli hospitals?
I agree that each death of an innocent person, child or adult, is a terrible thing. But before anyone points fingers and demonizes Israel, they should be sure to do their homework.
I can accept a difference of opinion and views, as long as it is based on unbiased information.
What Payne wrote is unacceptably biased.
As a journalist, she owes it to her readers to search all sources of information, not just the ones that agree with her biases.