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Gov. Parson, don’t make the mistake of confusing Hamas and Palestinian civilians | Opinion

The United States backs Israel, and we support the right of our allies to answer the massacre of civilians by Hamas terrorists — during a cease-fire, no less — while also supporting the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to urge greater care for Palestinian civilians and far greater access to humanitarian aid in Gaza.

To prevent another Oct. 7 and also protect the lives of Palestinians who are being used as human shields by their own people is no less important because it’s so difficult.

Israel keeps saying it’s not at war with Palestinians, but with Hamas, and that’s as it should be.

So what a boneheaded and morally blind move it would be for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to follow the advice of his fellow Republican, state Rep. Chris Dinkins, who is urging him to conflate the innocent and the guilty by barring Palestinian refugees from resettling in our state.

“This week,” Dinkins tweeted on the intolerably antisemitic platform now known as X, “I will be issuing my letter to #mogov @mikeparson. I am asking for my Republican Colleagues in the Missouri Legislature to join me in calling for Governor Parson to proactively prohibit the resettlement of any Palestinian refugees from Gaza in our state.”

Her letter says this: “I am writing to bring your attention to a matter of great concern regarding the potential resettlement of Palestinian refugees from Gaza in our state. … I echo the sentiments of many Missourians who share great concern about welcoming individuals from regions whose belief systems are rooted in anti-American and anti-Israel sentiments.”

Do you not see, Rep. Dinkins, that anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiments are fueled by exactly the anti-Palestinians bias you are showing?

Do you not see how much damage you do to your own supposed allies when you won’t even try to distinguish between those who think Jews should be wiped off the Earth and those who just want to live in peace?

You remind us of those antiabortion advocates who undercut their own side of the argument with statements about how women who get abortions should be thrown in jail, then wonder why in state after state, even self-described pro-lifers vote against what you’re selling.

(For instance, before Donald Trump knew what he was supposed to say on the subject, bless his heart, he once said “there ought to be some form of punishment” for women who abort. Similarly, earlier this year, some Republican state lawmakers supported a bill, the South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act, that would have treated abortion as homicide and subjected women who got abortions to even capital punishment. This sort of extremism, and not confusing ballot language, is why you keep losing elections even in deep red states.)

Naturally, Rep. Dinkins, your argument is really about politics rather than people: “I have zero confidence in the ability of the Biden Administration to effectively vet refugees from Gaza before entering our country.”

Once again, let’s remember that refugees are more vetted than any other group of people entering the United States, in a process that takes an average of between 18 and 24 months.

We cannot support pulling Hamas out by the roots and then tell civilians sorry, but we can’t help you.

Kansas City has a long, proud tradition of welcoming refugees, and that should absolutely include Palestinians fleeing the dire situation in Gaza.

State Rep. Chris Dinkins’ argument is really about politics rather than people.
State Rep. Chris Dinkins’ argument is really about politics rather than people.