More than two weeks have passed since I sent this letter to the NYTBR. I’ve received no indication that they plan to publish it (and they’ve already published other material responding to work that appeared the same week). I worked hard to craft a message that stayed (nearly) within their stated word-count preference. At this point, I’m simply posting the letter here.
TO THE EDITOR:
Like Eugene Yelchin, I am inspired when publishers find “effective ways to address [the subject of war] without diminishing its gravity.” I wish that Yelchin’s “War Babies” (Nov. 13) had itself displayed similar soundness when addressing what the article calls “Israel’s invasion of Gaza in 2014.”
For me, recalling that conflict between Israel and Hamas-controlled Gaza evokes many anguished memories. As I read Yelchin’s piece, my mind recalled the image of 4-year-old Daniel Tregerman, an Israeli child who died, as The New York Times reported at the time, when “deadly shrapnel from the Palestinian mortar rounds” that rained down on so many southern Israelis killed him in his family’s home. No article should reduce that terrible “50-day war in Gaza” (again as, the Times itself described it) to a one-sided Israeli “invasion.” (Again, the Times itself noted in real time that “Israel began a ground invasion after 10 days of aerial bombardment failed to stop Palestinian militants from showering Israeli cities with rockets.”)
In fact, what happened that summer was fueled by multiple factors. Central among these: Hamas’s murderous activities, with the Palestinian leadership in Gaza holding significant responsibility for the trauma experienced by so many of its children and adults—and Israel’s.
New York City