When I visited Gaza last May-June, the destruction was so overwhelming and the sense of arbitrary punishment so high that I found myself using the word "persecution." It was clear to me that these people had been targeted as a people; the assault was an effort to diminish their life spirit in every way possible, including destruction of the family unit. What I saw reminded me of what I had heard about the Jews in Warsaw and in Germany and Austria in the runup to the Second World War. Those Jews were persecuted; and these Palestinians were too.
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