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Altoona Mirror Letter to the Editor
Hamas teaching children bad message


As a part of the Jewish community, we are very concerned about how the Mirror is portraying Israel in recent articles.
As we all know, many families, communities and lives are being disturbed and disrupted by the conflicts between the Hamas and Israel.

In so many issues of the paper, we see Palestinian children that are being affected by the war, but have we forgotten the Israeli children? Many children in Palestine are injured or killed by Israeli soldiers, but so many innocent Israeli children are being affected the same way.

Children of Israel whose homes and friends are located near the Gaza Strip are killed every single day by the horrendous missiles attacking hourly.

Our Sunday School class communicates with Israeli children through pen pal letters, and we get a feel of what it is like to live in Israel at a time like this.

We learn how even being located 50 miles away from where the bombs land can still cause anticipation and tension. Is it even imaginable to learn that a certain city is bombed where one's family and friends are located?

These loving, caring innocent kids live in terror and cannot always be certain of their safety. Kids that are just like any other child are going through such hard times, not even able to be considered by us, and yet in every letter that we receive we can hear the desire and hope for some form of peace pouring out of their words.

The difference in the children being hurt in Palestine and Israel is how the Hamas is using children as a human shield.
Rather than standing up for what the Hamas believe in, they hide behind schools, churches and community centers as form of defense. In hope that Israel will take pity on the innocent lives in the community, the Hamas use none other than children as a human shield.

What are the Palestinian children being taught in school? Hate. What should the children do? Hate the Jews.
No message of peace can be conveyed to these children because all they can understand is hate. When a kindergartner steps in the door on their first day of school, anything and everything that they hear or learn makes a deep impression in them. Like a hand in wet cement, the impression is permanent. Hate is the wrong message.
The media is portraying Israel as "the bad guy."

Israel can only resort to self-defense in order to save and protect its civilians. In defending itself, this country must also attack its attacker.

In defending the country of Israel, it seems as though newspaper, television, the radio and the Internet see Israel as the villain. People must understand Israel is not wrong in defending itself against such a hateful power like the Hamas.

Eighth-grade class
Altoona Jewish Community School
Tobi Rispoli, teacher