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AUGUST 13, 2014, 5:41 PM

One of my former students shared a post on Facebook the other day that reflected his feelings of intense sadness about what is going on between Israel and Iranian-backed Hamas, and especially about the suffering of the civilians in Gaza. In the post, I was struck by the tension he struggles with between his Jewish identity and his sense of compassion and humanity (which are at the core of Judaism).

Many of the reports of the current conflict have been distorted, and I believe they have impacted how many people view the situation. I want to share a few thoughts in response to some of the questions my student raised and the statements he made.

In his post my student refers to “The Occupation of Gaza.”

There is no Israeli occupation of Gaza, because Israel pulled out of Gaza nine years ago. They did so with one goal – that it would be a step toward peace.

Read more: Responding to a friend about Israel | Daniel M. Cohen | The Blogs | The Times of Israel 
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