Friday, May 24th

Letter to the Editor from Joshua Mitts

letter to the editor(The following was submitted by Joshua Mitts of Scarsdale)

Opinion: The Eradication of Hamas is a Moral Imperative

I commend Mark Hershey's thoughtful op-ed on Israel published in Scarsdale10583. Israel's moral commitment is deeply rooted in Jewish tradition and Israeli society. Many Americans are unaware just how strongly the IDF holds itself to the highest standards in conducting operations and disciplining its own soldiers. After the tragic attack on the World Central Kitchen convoy, the IDF conducted a swift investigation, fired two officers within days, and committed to a series of reforms. No military is perfect, but few top the IDF's deep commitment to the rule of law.

By contrast, Hamas has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity--first and foremost against the Palestinian people, as well as Israelis. By intentionally using women and children as human shields and cowardly hiding within hospitals, schools and critical infrastructure, Hamas has brought untold suffering upon the people of Gaza. A cease-fire at any cost would reward Hamas for the horrors of October 7 by allowing the terrorist organization to regroup and amass power, crushing any hope for a moderate Palestinian government to emerge in Gaza. As painful as the scenes from Gaza are, we must continue to place the blame squarely on Hamas. For the sake of a better future for the Palestinian people, Israel must destroy Hamas. There is no other moral choice.

Joshua Mitts is David J. Greenwald Professor of Law at Columbia University. He lives in Scarsdale with his wife, Tamar, and two children, Emily and Liam. One month after October 7, Professor Mitts organized a petition to the Village of Scarsdale to permit hostage flyers to be posted in the public right-of-way, which received over 500 signatures. Last month, Professor Mitts hosted a forum at Columbia on "Israel as a Law-Abiding, Liberal Democracy in Wartime" with former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Danziger, former Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and other dignitaries in the Israeli legal community. Professor Mitts serves as faculty advisor to the Law Students Against Antisemitism student group at Columbia Law School.

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