Ripping down the “kidnapped” posters

October 29, 2023 • 12:45 pm

One act that is absolutely reprehensible, unjustifiable, and downright sick is the ripping down of posters and fliers showing pictures of the hostages taken by Hamas on October 7. No matter what you feel about what’s going on in Gaza right now, there’s no justification for ripping down posters calling attention to Jewish (and non-Jewish) hostages in Hamas’s hands, for their capture was both a war crime and a moral outrage. What statement are the people who rip down these posters trying to make?

Nevertheless, it’s happening throughout the world. Here it is in London (see Jacoby’s column below for more examples). These women claim they’re “helping Palestine”. How? By hiding the brutal crimes of some Palestinians. Some help!

Here’s an interview with the Israeli artists who designed the posters (along with more video of their desecration). It’s sad that one artist has to cover his face out of fear. The woman artist is especially eloquent.

Below: a callous ripper git is rightfully confronted by several non-Jews who realize how heinous the act is. But I don’t agree with the angry guy who threatens the ripper with violence.

This wanton defacing of specific posters by Jew haters is the subject of an op-ed today in the Boston Globe by Jeff Jacoby, which I found for free on this website (or you can click on the screenshot below):

Jacoby starts with a clever analogy:

A cat from my neighborhood has gone missing. Her owner has distributed fliers around the area, asking residents to keep an eye out for her. “LOST CAT,” it says in big letters beneath a photo of Coco, a beautiful animal with fluffy white fur and blue eyes.

Whether the fliers will lead to Coco’s recovery I don’t know. But of one thing I am certain: No one walking through the neighborhood will be grabbing all the posters and stuffing them in the trash. Even people who dislike cats wouldn’t be that callous and mean.

But ever since fliers calling attention to something far more terrible than a missing cat — the plight of the more than 200 hostages abducted from Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7 — began going up on telephone poles, subway walls, utility boxes, and worksite fences in cities around the world, a startling number of people have been eager to tear them down. Individuals have been filmed destroying ordefacing the posters in BostonLondonMiamiNew YorkMelbournePhiladelphiaRichmondAnn Arbor, and Los Angeles.

A bit more:

There is no possible justification for such heartlessness. The whole purpose of the fliers is to heighten awareness of the Israeli (and other) civilians kidnapped by the Hamas terror squads — to put names and faces to the hostages, all with one goal: to bring them back home. How can a project so heartfelt and humane trigger such a poisonous response?


The posters were the brainchild of two Israeli artists, Nitzan Mintz and Dede Bandaid, who were visiting New York when Hamas carried out its bloodbath. Aching to help in some way, they drew on their art backgrounds to design the eye-catching fliers. Each is topped with the word “KIDNAPPED” in large white letters on an orange background; below that heading is the name, age, nationality, and photo of one of the hostages, who range in age from 3 months to 85 years.

And Jacoby’s explanation for the ripping, which comes down to ubiquitous antisemitism.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is intensely controversial and generates great emotion on both sides. But these assaults on the “Kidnapped” posters have nothing to do with the merits of the dispute. The sole purpose of the fliers is to emphasize the humanity of the innocent hostages seized by Hamas (many of whom, as it happens, were peace activists deeply committed to Arab-Israeli coexistence). What drives the people ripping down the posters or adding Hitler mustaches to the pictures is a pathological need to deny the humanity of those kidnapped Jews.


A core principle of antisemites in all times and places is that Jews are not fully human and are never innocent. A thousand years ago, Jews were slaughtered by Crusaders for being satanic Christ-killers who consumed the blood of children; a century ago Hitler preached that they were subhumans who polluted the racial purity of Aryan Europe. Today the Jewish state is accused of committing the demonic crimes of genocide and apartheid. The poison never changes, only the vial it comes in.

The “Kidnapped” fliers are intolerable to the haters because they so urgently challenge the antisemitic paradigm. They make it vividly clear that in the war between barbarism and civilization, between oppressor and oppressed, it is Jews who are under attack. That infuriates those whose worldview revolves around the certainty that Israel and its supporters are the victimizers. The outpouring of sympathy for Jews kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists — and the moral force of that sympathy — is anathema to them.

The ending:

The ripped-up fliers are one more indication of the rising tide of antisemitism in America and the West. A “white hot rage” is building. I, for one, cannot shake the conviction that Jews are at graver risk than they have been in decades, and not only in southern Israel.

I have several Jewish friends who are really scared that American antisemitism, clearly on the rise, will segue into violence. They sometimes talk about moving elsewhere—even to Israel, which right now is a questionable decision (Hamas has fired 8,000 rockets into Israel since October 7).  I, for one, can’t bring myself to believe we’ll have any pogroms in America.  But when you hear the Jewish woman emoting in the last video shown in my previous post, you can’t help wondering if it’s open season on Jews in America—perhaps not for being killed but for being despised.

A wall of “kidnapped” posters from The Nation (photo by Amir Levy / Getty Images):

54 thoughts on “Ripping down the “kidnapped” posters

  1. I have seen so many ripped up posters here in London UK. The inhumanity staggers the imagination. There are the same posters left up with OCCUPIER pasted over KIDNAPPED, which have me half reaching to remove them myself.

  2. Here is an excellent (archived) article by Simon Sebag-Montefiore, the historian, about the “decolonization” narrative.
    The Decolonization Narrative Is Dangerous and False

    Today and yesterday I got quite a lot of compliments and thumbs up for my Israeli flag t-shirt here in Chelsea, Manhattan. A nice contrast to the idiocy in other parts of NYC.
    (my own now variously re-published article on Gaza and morality:

    1. I clicked the first link but they asked you to click on one of those “I am not a robot” recapcha boxes. I must have clicked it a dozen times, but it just kept reloading that page and never linked to the article.

      1. I guess you’re a robot then. Have you:

        Ever avoided injuring a human being or, through inaction, not allowed a human being to come to harm?

        Obeyed orders given to you by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the above?

        Protected your own existence except where such protection has conflicted with what was mentioned above?


    2. Spot on David, I was going to post that Sebag-Montefiore myself. I don’t understand why but in our chattering classes decolonisation is a subject that seems to suspend all critical faculties. Happily, he exposes the narrative for its poisonous and hypocritical bending of the truth.

      BTW – Sebag-Montefiore wrote an excellent biography of Stalin during his time in power: The Court of the Red Tsar. It’s so good, I’ve read it twice!

      Also, I just read your article and it’s excellent. You hit the nail – or nails – squarely on the head; I’d recommend other readers go take a look.

      1. Thank you. I got more reader mail than usual directly via the editors which was pleasing. It was in (lefty) Democracy Chronicles and TheModerateVoice where my columns are and the San Diego Jewish News picked it up. Which is funny b/c they stopped using my articles a few years ago b/c I’m a big time atheist. hehehe
        Good on them though, and thank you for reading!

    1. What does it say that among the dozens of signatories there is one retired mathematician and no scientists? All others are anthropologists, historians, lawyers, artists, and sociologists. Do the scientists not care about this issue? Do they just have better things to do than sign letters? Or do they maybe recognize this letter as performative nonsense?

      1. Franke and the letter writers called October 7 a “military action.” As a twitter wag said, her opinions read better in the original German.

        It’s sobering to realize how easy it is for seemingly smart knowledgeable people like Franke to fall into this kind of hatred for Jews. I don’t look to Jordan Peterson for a lot of wisdom, but he’s sort of right when he says an important lesson for all of us from the Holocaust is that we’re the nazis: many of us could easily fall into the kind of group-think that leads to horrors.

      2. Reading the opening of the letter, I find it deeply ironic that they complain of the “chilling of speech” as a consequence of their defense of Hamas and even more ironic that they appeal to view point diversity as a common shared value.

        Another point:
        Anyone who calls the assault by Hamas a “military action” instead of a terrorist attack implies, that there is a Gazan military controlled by the Gazan government (Hamas) which has committed documented war crimes in an unprovoked act of military aggression – usually a casus belli. If there is an official war, Israel has a lot more leeway in its attacks compared to them invading a territory with disputed legal status in order to conduct counterinsurgency operations.

  3. I’m OK with the threat of physical violence on very rare occasions. No actual violence occurred here but some people need to be deterred from actions (or very rarely speech) that crosses a line.

    This guy stated it correctly – ‘you’re in NYC and can protest and wave the Palestinian flag all you like but you don’t get to deface things like this.’ It’s a man-to-man moment. This is like spitting on the graves of innocent victims. This is not free speech but its censorship by the Palestinian dude like the heckler’s veto. The New Yorker is saying if you try to suppress MY free speech (as a proxy) by ripping these posters down, expect consequences. Every man knows that there is a line that can be crossed that will get you punched in the face. (Prof. Coyne, didn’t you say you did so after some A**hole hurled an epithet at you? I would call your reaction justified). I’m all for free speech and its protection but there are some real world limits. Like this behavior or what Alex Jones said to the families of the parents of slain children in a school shooting.

    I am not advocating violence – use your words – but there is surely some extreme limit that will test a person’s patience so, be an adult and don’t pretend you can do anything you like and worse, play naive and the victim. Assaulting someone may entail suffering the consequences of that action but we must fight sometimes for what is right and fighting can mean violence. There are worse things than getting punched.

  4. Terrorist sympathizers. It’s surprising how these folks seem to think that it is permissible to express their terrorist proclivities in public—and then to brag about it. Latent antisemitism, now given license to emerge, is at the root of this behavior.

    This is why Jews around the world are afraid. They are seeing the emergence into the open of something dangerous, something that the civilized world must oppose with vigor. Will that happen? This lack of trust in how the world will respond underlies the “sinking feeling” that Michael Oren talked about yesterday.

  5. I like what the New Yorker guy said that you can say death to Jews or America and not deface those images. It suggests that you need to let others say things even if you don’t like it. I think this is something to remember and I’m glad regular guys called that man out.

  6. I remember writing somewhere that once the BDS movement resulted in the largest pogrom since the Holocaust the ‘Woke’ would emit something along the lines of ‘Oops, we didn’t mean for that to happen’ and flit off to some other fashonable cause.

    Never in my worst nightmares did I suspect the actual response would be the things that have been said, that the Oct 7th pogrom was ‘decolonization in action’, ‘justified resistance’, et al

    It’s going to take a pogrom in the West for anyone to be really shaken and I’m now not sure even that will be enough.

  7. Photographs of the hostages might stir up less than reverent feelings toward Hamas, aka Islamic Resistance. But, as Hamline University made clear, all things Islamic are to receive special deference in Progressive institutions of higher learning. If a faculty member at an institution like Hamline were to post these hostage photos, he/she would no doubt be investigated by the DEI Office, and be in danger of dismissal, for the offense of “Islamophobia”.

    1. I agree with your comment.
      One thing clear to me in seeing many of the poster rippers is that in apparel and appearance they follow that “loving peaceful religion Islam “ All of these individuals in our midst are dangerous. They are the fifth column.
      I personally will never trust them. I am “Islamophobic”

  8. “I have several Jewish friends who are really scared that American antisemitism, clearly on the rise, will segue into violence. They sometimes talk about moving elsewhere . . .”

    Move outside of the deep-blue cities and college towns. Red America has its own set of problems, but pro-Hamas sentiment and anti-Israel protests are generally not among them.

    1. Hamas survives because it’s a totalitarian theocracy of sorts and relies on neighboring theocracies. Red American states are either mini-theocracies or wanna be theocracies. Many (most?) would forgo the Constitution if they could, and they’ve been trying really hard to do so. I can understand moving out of the US for a number of reasons, but moving to a “red state” to avoid a “deep blue city/college town” pogrom or something is really bad advice. Naive would be my charitable description. And why do folks think “moving” is like going to a different grocery store, or changing the channel?

      1. Mark, Do you mind if I ask you how much of your adult life has been spent living in the deep red states outside of their Democrat-led cities and flagship college towns?

        1. San Jose, CA 1969-1977
          Reno, NV 1977-1988
          Los Angeles, CA 1988-1989
          Cupertino, CA 1989-1990
          Seattle, WA 1990-1997
          Cheyenne, WY 1997-2008
          Snohomish, WA 2008-2016
          Monroe, WA 2016-present

          I know you asked about adult life, but I filled in the details of my life’s living places. I’ve lived in both deep red and deep blue and purple-leaning blue and red (present) during my adult life. What’s your point?

          1. Thanks, Mark. We’ll call your current home “light purple.” If I have it right, your state legislative district is represented by two Republicans, while your US congressional district has been represented by a Democrat for over a decade. Moreover, the district has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan. (Biden won the district by over 20 points.) Are your state senator and representative the theocratic types who would purge the Constitution of all but the 2nd Amendment, or are they more like Massachusetts Republicans? That’s a serious question, by the way.

            What about in Cheyenne? Dick Cheney is—and was—many things, but theocrat is not one of them. I mean, the devil would hardly put God in charge, would he? And, goodness, who could forget Alan Simpson. Perhaps one of the funniest men to grace the halls of the Senate: firmly pro-choice and in support of LGBT rights. Perhaps some of the more recent crop are theocratic thugs in suits now that Liz is gone; I admit that I don’t follow most of them anymore. I’ll grant you that the damned cowboys at Frontier Days could really trash the town, but the things that they were riding in the arena and in the stands—both in the saddle and under the skirts—were hardly theocratic hobby horses.

            I asked because your portrayal of the red states is a comic book one. The cocksure assertions, along with the stridency, suggested someone who had little face-to-face adult experience with real right-wing people, someone who read about them in partisan rags or heard the cartoon versions portrayed on NPR and cable TV. (In fairness, there are plenty of cartoon versions who put themselves on TV.) Alternatively, it spoke of someone a bit older who had all too much exposure to certain subcultures, who grew up uncomfortably in the social rigidity, self-censoring, and enforced conformity that could characterize some red-state places and families. I truly feel for those who couldn’t wait to break free. Not that such a stifling subculture could ever take hold in any of our blue domains.

            Suffice it to say, I stand by my original and sole points: the red areas of the country have their own set of problems, but Hamas sympathies and anti-Israel protests are not generally among them. Just remember: when you vote next fall, you get to check the same blocks on the ballot as either the ignorant Trump lovers or the educated Jew haters. Enjoy your company either way.

            We need better choices.

          2. Doug,

            Nice tirade, but really too condescending to invite conversation. I’ve lived in bright red territory for more than twenty years now. Mark is much closer to being correct than you are. Your reasonable conservatives have long since become a minority.

  9. I saw some of these posters up in Wellington on Saturday. A young (white) woman was walking past them and she did a double take, then did a loud, angry sigh and walked on. It reminded me of the days following 9/11 when I was a PhD student and our Uni put up boards outside the library where people could express their feelings about it. So many young people are were saying “America deserved it”, which I thought was pretty callous and harsh. It’s frustrating how so many people, but particularly the young and the polarised, cannot get to grips with two opposing things being simultaneously true and that you don’t have to pick a side and become blind to your side’s wrong doing. What Hamas did to those Israeli people is absolutely awful; what Israel is doing to ordinary citizens in Gaza is absolutely awful. There are no “good guys” here.

    1. Those who are without blame shall cast the first stone..

      If you look close enough, there are no “good guys” with power. There are only “better guys” and “worse guys” and in a comparison between the Israeli government and Hamas, the former clearly comes out on top.

      I would also challenge your equivocation of Hamas and Israeli action. Surely when comparing the approach of both sides, you can also find “better guys” there.

  10. Let me preface that I was early on appalled by the heinous atrocities committed by Hamas. I have been highly critical of the pro-Palestine side, because they cheered and wrote their letters in support right after Hamas tortured and murdered over a thousand Jews, and kidnapped over two hundred more. Supporters saw this massacre as a form of liberation, not of concern about what Israel might do next. This came only later. Palestine effectively discredited itself in the public opinion, even if this is obscured by the “Hamas is not Palestine” talking points, intended to diffuse the blame. I don’t buy the distinction, because Hamas has ongoing majority support among Palestinians, according to Palestinian pollsters themselves.

    But onto the posters. They look like “missing posters” and hijack intuitions conditioned on real ones, however are effective political propaganda in the most neutral sense (a way to use emotion and advertising tricks to sway political opinion).

    It would be ghoulish to tear down real missing posters, because the purpose of the poster is to alert a public to come forward with witness information. Tearing them down is akin to sabotaging efforts to find the people, or solve heinous crimes.

    However, the people on these posters are not local individuals who went missing in the woods, or on their way from school. These are people abducted in a war-like conflict in a region thousands of miles away. The poster purpose is to take over public space with pro-Israel messaging, and use the hostage as a mere means to protect the posters from being torn down or papered over outright, by mimicry. Otherwise this space is for local events, not to influence geo-political opinion.

    These public spaces probably have rules. If they were glued on without permission, they can be torn down just as well. If someone rented the space, like the advertising this is, then it’s illegal to deface them. Overall, the moral outrage is not justified. It’s a bit unsettling that this works so easily.

    1. I don’t know if Hamas really has overall support among Palestinians according to polls. I don’t trust pollsters that might be mouthpieces of Hamas [Readers? Any word on that]?
      Ok, imagine a long wall in California, and it’s fresh and raw after 9/11. There are posters of the 9/11 victims on the wall, and they are repeatedly torn down by people who explain that the victims deserved it bc they were Americans. Is that ok? Please think about it.

        The polling reported here is somewhat contradictory. Nonetheless, one significant point might be a thin shred of hope for the future: “half (50%) agreed with the following proposal: “Hamas should stop calling for Israel’s destruction, and instead accept a permanent two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.” “

    2. You seem unusually concerned with:
      a) the regulatory frameworks governing local advertising space
      b) ensuring that advertising space is only ever used by those who have paid the requisite rental fee

      I’m sure that makes you an exemplary citizen, but I think you’re concentrating on the wrong things. You also use language that seems designed to downplay the horror of what happened: “These are people abducted in a war-like conflict in a region thousands of miles away”.

      I would describe it differently. These people are innocent children and civilians, who were kidnapped, by terrorists, in the most brutal and terrifying of circumstances. Many saw their families butchered before them and god knows how many have been raped and abused.

      Maintaining public awareness of their horrific plight might just help some of them get out of their nightmare alive. Isn’t that worth a shot? In deciding my priorities I would certainly place saving those peoples’ lives above ensuring that local adverstising space is properly administered.

      If you really are considering moral outrage here, surely you should be looking at the reasons for these idiot’s behaviour. What basis can they have for pulling down these posters, other than anti-semitism, bitterness, hate, etc. In fact, here’s a challenge for you – name one motivation behind the ripping down of these posters that isn’t morally reprehensible.

      1. If I read it correctly, the hypothesis provided here is:
        “These are not normal ‘missing person’ posters, but pro-Israel political messaging mimicking ‘missing person’ posters.”

        If you assume the hypothesis to be true, the motivation behind ripping could be:
        “I am removing propaganda I disagree with from public spaces where they don’t belong.”
        Such a motivation would not be morally reprehensible to me.

        Now.. are those posters political messaging or do they serve the same function as normal “missing” posters? If I look at the likelihood of anyone in a random western city be able to contribute anything of substance to the rescue of the hostages compared to the political appeal to emotion inherent in the poster, I find it hard to deny Aneris’ point.

        1. Exactly. I, too, thought “what’s wrong with these people, how can they be against finding missing people?” — but they aren’t missing like that. They are hostages in a far-away country. Puzzlingly, this obvious analogy is spelled out in the Jacobin bit, with missing cat posters, and accepted as true, even though it’s evidently false (you cannot find them in the neighbourhood, which is whole reason why tearing down missing cat posters is ghoulish and upsetting, which isn’t the case for tearing down political posters).

          And with that said, the “rules” whether you can, or should leave them or take them down are simply dictated by the public space, not morality or freedom of speech etcetera.

          1. Your insistence that these posters are invalid because they don’t show local people is pedantic and obtuse. I seriously doubt that you cannot appreciate the value of maintaining public awareness of these victims and the circumstances of their plight.

            As I said in my reply above:
            Look at the facial expressions of these people. The young woman on the still is almost overflowing with rage and anger, and while I can’t be 100% sure what her motivation is, I can be certain it is not a noble one. How could it be? What is supportable or justifiable in erasing the plight of these victims from public awareness? How on earth could a reasonable and humane individual object to these posters being used to support kidnapped children? And for what reason, other than hate, anger or bitterness, could someone want to pull them down?

        2. Your argument falls at the first hurdle. These posters are not pro-Israel political propaganda for chrissakes. They show real people, many of them children, who were kidnapped in a horrific terrorist attack during which many of them were forced to watch their relatives being butchered. Hamas is now using them as human collateral in a sick game of extortion, and to further compound their suffering, they’re likely locked underground in squalid tunnels. If this doesn’t represent the epitome of amorality, it’s pretty damn close.

          These real people, they’re victims of a terrorist atrocity, and they’re also (hopefully) still alive. The posters may keep victims in the public consciousness, they may even help some of them walk free. Of course, the posters may also alert more people to the brutality of Hamas. However, none of this is fake, inflammatory or overtly political. None of it retracts from the ongoing and very real suffering of Palestinians. These posters simply tell the truth and in so doing they reveal just how despicable Hamas is. If you think this constitutes propaganda, I don’t think you know what that word means.

          Let’s turn the tables and suppose that Israel had kidnapped Palestinian children in identical circumstances. Let’s suppose Israel deliberately butchered their relatives in front of them, sexually abused many of them, and was now holding them as pawns in a game of extortion. Would you support posters of these kidnapped and abused Palestinian kids – telling only the truth – being displayed in our cities? I certainly would. Would you support groups of angry, mean-looking Israelis tearing down those posters crying ‘propaganda’? I wouldn’t, absolutely not!

          Look at the facial expressions of these people. The young woman on the still is almost overflowing with rage and anger, and while I can’t be 100% sure what her motivation is, I can be certain it is not a noble one. How could it be? What is supportable or justifiable in erasing the plight of these victims from public awareness? How on earth could a reasonable and humane individual object to these posters being used to support kidnapped children? And for what reason, other than hate, anger or bitterness, could someone want to pull them down?

          1. I find this despicable, because one of the hostages was a compatriot, and who was in the first disturbing viral videos. She was paraded around on a pickup truck like a trophy and was spat on. She’s probably on one of those posters. I did post about her in “social media real time”, and said verbatim, that the Palestinians lost their case there. You could say that I put up such a poster! Young people in big cities, inclined to side with Palestine, can easily identify with her, a young woman who was dancing at the festival.

            My comment was about the posters and the discourse of outrage that surrounds them. Their “realness” was an analogical proximity to other missing posters, like those of missing pets. Suppose the pet is dead, or it’s known that nobody who sees the posters can help. Is is heartless to take the now “useless” missing pet posters down? You can keep going. What does it say when “useless” pet posters are kept up (in the sense that they cannot possibly help finding the pet). There are millions of missing pets worldwide. Should they each have their poster? Why, or why not? These are not silly questions. Keep track of the topic, and check at least wikipedia for an introduction into propaganda.

            My comment was not about whether such posters are good or bad, or whether I support them, but about the fact that these missing posters are not much more than Pro-Israel stickers, or any political sticker or poster. The discussion was about the ethics of removing such material, where I point outed out that the framework is not the right one.

    3. “It would be ghoulish to tear down real missing posters, ”
      As far as I know they are real people. Do you mean to say they are no longer missing?

      “Tearing them down is akin to sabotaging efforts to find the people, or solve heinous crimes.”
      Of course, we know what happened to them and who did it, so no hineous crime to resolve, thank you for pointing that out.

      “the people on these posters are not local individuals who went missing in the woods, or on their way from school.”
      What are these foreigners doing on my walls! It is my civic duty to enforce my unwritten rule that only local news and events must appear on these hallowed surfaces.

      “These are people abducted in a war-like conflict in a region thousands of miles away.’
      Second time you bring this up. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.

      “The poster purpose is to take over public space with pro-Israel messaging, and use the hostage as a mere means to protect the posters from being torn down or papered over outright, by mimicry.” So we are being protected from manipulation, how considerate. However, shouldn’t they also tear down the thousands of posters, flags, etc exhalting Palestine, not to mention the almost weekly demonstrations that impact my daily life? After all, those people are also caught in a war-like exchange thousands of miles away and have no bearing on next Sunday’s cricket match at the oval.

      “These public spaces probably have rules. If they were glued on without permission, they can be torn down just as well.”
      It’s been a while since I lived in the UK but they don’t seem to dress like streent cleaners. And they seem to miss all the other flyers, posters and leaflets. Funny that.

      1. Well the poster destroyers are definitely not “street cleaners” as the posters ripped off display are thrown to the ground / street which is an offence in the UK, littering! Not much hope of a fine however especially in London UK.

  11. Aneris thinks that it merely unjustified moral outrage if someone is outraged by these posters being torn down. After all, no one has pulled down a poster for a much missed and much loved missing cat. But what the poster destroyers have done is exactly denied, or attempted to deny, that we should think of those who are now missing their abducted sons and daughters and grandparents as feeling the pain of care and concern and love and nonstop worry as we would for some missing neighbor child, someone agonizing over the loved missing cat. It’s the attempt to shut down empathetic response by treating it as just a bit of pro-Israel messaging. It’s just a bit of messaging, don’t think imaginatively of what it must be like to feel the worry about that particular child, who after all isn’t a local kid.

  12. It seems that people can’t hold two ideas in their heads at the same time. That is, Hamas did inhumane things, and continues to fire rockets into Israel. Israel is defending itself, maybe a little too strongly, but defending itself nonetheless. It is possible for us to be against death and suffering for people on both sides of this conflict.

  13. I’m trying my best to “steel man” the reason why someone would rip down the posters. I tend to believe the op-ed….that it largely stems from deep and unthinking hatred of Jews. Can’t Palestinians and their sympathizers do anything other than destroy things….what is wrong with these people?

    But here is one possible reason why someone might rip them down besides being enraged by antisemitism. It could be that the person, while sympathizing with the kidnapped people, sees these posters as distorting the conflict to make it look as if Israel is the only victim. They become enraged because, from their vantage point, they see a message that is grossly unfair and one sided.

    But if that is the case…then put your own posters up with your statements. Do something constructive…make some posters of your favorite Hamas members that you believe have been unjustly imprisoned by Israel, rather than always attempting to censor and intimidate.

    The problem is that if they did that, the lack of moral equivalence would be obvious, as Israel does not kidnap innocent women and children. So perhaps that is why you don’t see an effort to counter these posters with a pro-Palestinian bent…

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