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In the op-ed, the author claims that 94% of Jewish Israelis supported the force used in Gaza.

By Rachel O’Donoghue, Honest Reporting

Author Megan K. Stack’s latest op-ed in The New York Times is worse than a hatchet job — it is a malicious screed masquerading as insightful analysis.

In ‘The View Within Israel Turns Bleak,’ the conclusions that Stack invites readers to arrive at are obvious from the first paragraph in which she quotes right-wing Israeli journalist Yehuda Shlezinger’s angrily proclaiming there should be “more rivers of Gazans’ blood.”

The journalist, Stack contends, is not “fringe,” nor would “Israelis would be shocked by his bloody fantasies.” Indeed, she argues the views espoused by Shlezinger are further evidence that “Israel has hardened” — now it is a nation of people who, regardless of their political leanings, have a “thirst for revenge” on the Palestinians.

But Stack ignores the fact that extreme remarks like Shlezinger’s are consistently condemned by both Israeli politicians and the public, as demonstrated when a junior government minister was suspended for saying Israel could drop an atomic bomb on Gaza.

Instead, she suggests that her simplistic assessment is supported by statistics: a four-month-old survey found that 94 percent of Jewish Israelis felt the force used in Gaza was appropriate or insufficient.

Unrepresentative Interviewees

But the problem with Stack’s piece is not merely the use of an out-of-date survey. Rather, it is that every single person, source, or piece of evidence she uses to illustrate Israelis’ supposedly genocidal intentions toward Palestinians is wholly unrepresentative of Israeli society.

Stack, for example, quotes several people in the piece: Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy, Hassan Jabareen of the anti-Israel NGO Adalah, Diana Buttu, a former PLO legal advisor, and Daniel Levy, the president of the US/Middle East Project.

But how can Gideon Levy, who has repeatedly promoted the apartheid libel, or Daniel Levy, who has repeatedly downplayed Palestinian terrorism, be presented as impartial voices?

And how is it that Diana Buttu can be billed as a “Palestinian lawyer” and quoted at length without Stack even mentioning that Buttu is also a former advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)?

Likewise, why are the words of Hassan Jabareen, of the Adalah organization, which aligns itself with terrorist-linked Palestinian NGOs, presented as the unadulterated truth when he alleges that Arab Israelis “live in fear” because the “police left no doubt that we were enemies of the state”?

Naturally, Stack didn’t reference another survey — taken after the start of the October 7 war — which found that the percentage of Arab Israelis who feel a kinship with the State of Israel had risen to 70 percent — up from 48 percent before the Hamas attack.

Israelis at Fault for Palestinian Violence

On the few occasions where Stack acknowledges Palestinian violence, she still circuitously finds Israel at fault. She argues that while the so-called “apartheid wall” that is the West Bank barrier “helped keep West Bank suicide bombers from penetrating Israel,” it has also allegedly acted as a “psychological barrier” separating Israelis and Palestinians and “piled extra misery on ever-more-constrained Palestinian civilians.”

We can, therefore, only assume that Stack thinks Israeli civilians dying in terror attacks is a small price to pay to remove the psychological barrier she has observed.

Similarly, when Stack references the Second Intifada, it is to say that when Israelis emerged from these years of carnage — characterized by suicide attacks, stabbings and bombings — they did so with a “jaundiced view of negotiations and, more broadly, Palestinians, who were derided as unable to make peace.”

It is this “logic,” she argues, that sabotaged the peace process — and not the launching of the Second Intifada itself. The inference is that Israel should have continued negotiating with then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat even as he incited attacks against Israeli civilians.

Stack also holds up the uneven death toll between Israelis and Palestinians to diminish the threat of Palestinian terrorism, arguing that since the construction of the Iron Dome, the “mathematics of death heavily favored Israel.” In Stack’s mind, even Israel’s defensive measures are a way to victimize Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Stack’s “evidence” that all Israelis are unrepentant racists and the country and apartheid state is supported by absurd pieces of “evidence,” including the fact that Arabs are ineligible for gun licenses, without noting that the majority of Israelis are also ineligible.

Israelis Driven by Hatred and Vengeance

The thrust of Stack’s entire argument could easily be distilled into a sentence: she believes Israelis are driven by hatred, a desire for vengeance, and a medieval-style thirst for blood.

Much of the piece is an exercise in how to omit facts to craft a particular narrative. For example, Stack claims the 460 Palestinians who have been killed in the West Bank since October 7 are proof of a “bloody campaign of terror” by soldiers and settlers, yet fails to note the proportion of those who were terrorists.

Any nuance and compassion are non-existent. She forgets or does not care that this is a nation of people still grieving the horrors of October 7, that hostages remain in Gaza, and that Israel has taken measures to avoid civilian casualties and minimize harm to civilians.

And that is how she can conclude the piece with what amounts to a tacit justification for Hamas’ barbaric October 7 massacre. That day, Stack says, should have been a wake-up call for Israelis who she claims had previously sealed themselves “off from Palestinians while subjecting them to daily humiliations and violence.”

Hamas on October 7, she suggests, acted like people with “nothing to lose,” apparently ignoring how the last seven months of the war in Gaza have demonstrated the exact opposite. Palestinians had a lot to lose and Hamas didn’t care if they lost it.

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