In his letter of May 17, Benjamin Keener suggests that the Palestinian protests in Gaza may have been in response to the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. More likely is the fact that Hamas is using Israel’s right to self defense as a method of trying to turn the aggressor into the victim.

Let’s not forget that Israel turned Gaza over to the Palestinians — and departed — in 2005 and Hamas took control in 2007. In 11 years, Hamas has done nothing but keep its residents in misery. It has fired rockets into Israel and has spent millions of dollars to construct tunnels that could have built homes, mosques, schools or medical facilities.

Nikki Haley, America’s UN ambassador, stated that Hamas urged demonstrators — including women and children — to “Get closer!” to the security fence. They attacked the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza where dozens of trucks daily bring food, fuel and medicine from Israel. (Yes, Israel sends tons of supplies to its sworn enemy). Of the 62 citizens of Gaza killed a few days ago, 50 were Hamas members. Ambassador Haley said, “Make no mistake. Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday.” She continued to the Security Council, “Who among us would accept this activity at your border? No one would.”

If the people of Gaza seek the basis of their desperation, they should look to Hamas. The pattern of pursuing Israel’s destruction and pleading for pity when their plans fail only leads to more misery.

Joel Goodman, Auburn

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