I read with sad interest the article published April 19 in the Daily Egyptian. It was about the SIUC exhibit for Jewish children — children who were killed by the Nazis before and during World War II. But I separate my feelings about the inhumane things the Nazis did in Western Europe from my feelings about the nation of Israel’s actions in recent years.
For years the Israeli government has maintained an inhumane food and travel blockade on the Gaza Strip that has kept the 1.5 million Gaza Strip citizens in virtual imprisonment and poverty in the small area.
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict goes back to the fact that Israel was strong-armed into reality in the Middle East after World War II by a United States dominated United Nations. This was done with minimal concern for Palestinian national interests and property rights of the diverse people who had been living together reasonably for centuries until World War I.
The bottom line of my sad reaction to the April 19 article is this: With their own long history of oppression, including the Holocaust, how can Israeli hearts justify their years of overwhelmingly imbalanced oppression against citizens of Gaza and West Bank Palestinians? If they are a true democracy, why are Palestinian citizens within Israel denied full rights?
David E. Christensen
SIU emeritus professor of geography