Orlando paper feels it has to balance local woman’s op-ed explaining Nakba with Israeli gov’t official’s response

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The Orlando Sentinel has published a stirring piece on Gaza by Rasha Mubarak, who is a Palestinian-American community organizer in Orlando, explaining the role of the refugee crisis in the establishment of the ghetto that is Gaza. But it has to be balanced by a piece written by an Israeli gov’t official. First Mubarak:

Eighty percent of Gazans are descendants of refugees of cities and towns in what is now Israel who were forcibly removed from their homes and land in 1948. Forced out once, they are determined not to be forced out of Gaza. Under international law they retain the right to return to their homes and land.

The violence being brought to bear against this refugee population is only getting worse. During the latest round of carnage, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai chillingly stated, “We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying the entire infrastructure including roads and water.” Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, aggressively asserted, “We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza.”

Palestinians and Israelis (those who are outspoken against the war in Gaza) want peace. Not a peace that normalizes sieges and blockades and is limited to a cease-fire, but a peace with justice. A peace where no human life should be less valuable than another is worth pursuing.

Now here is Revital Malca, the Israeli deputy consul general to Florida and Puerto Rico (who knew there was such a post) responding with the usual talking points:

What would the United States do if rockets were routinely launched from Cuba toward cities in Florida?

Hamas’ actions are in clear violation of the most fundamental principles of international law, including the principle of distinction, which requires Hamas and other terrorist organizations not only to refrain from directing their attacks at Israeli civilians, but also to clearly distinguish themselves from their own civilian populations.

These terrorist organizations consciously and deliberately violate these principles repeatedly, by deploying weapons and command centers in densely populated areas, operating from residential areas, and exploiting the civilian population by exposing them to serious harm. By doing so, Hamas and the terror organizations in the Gaza Strip are committing war crimes.

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