Dixie Belcher’s article titled “Palestinian residents are helpless victims in attacks made by leaders” was published in Juneau Empire on February 26, 2024. It is a perfect and unfortunate example of how historic events and factual truth could be misconstrued by an amateur historian, claiming to be an “expert” and a “leader” in the movement for World Peace. Not only did Belcher misconstrued the reality of the Israel/Gaza conflict, but she also managed to convolute the statistical data and historic events related to this subject.

Let me present several misleading statements from Belcher’s article:

“In 1948 the United Nations gave the country of Palestine to European Jews escaping hundreds of years of pogroms, ending with the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis. These Jews were escaping hell.”

This narrative is complete nonsense and far from the factual truth. Pogroms were brutal government-organized destruction of the Jewish settlements, mostly on the territory of the former Russian Empire (today Ukraine, Belorussia, Poland, etc.). In fact, my grandparents were victims of pogroms. The anti-Semitic practice of pogroms ended in the early 1920s under the Bolsheviks’ rulings of a newly formed Soviet Union in 1922.

Belcher is not alone in her bias and uneducated assertions on this subject. The far-left media notoriously make various historical and statistical errors that lead the public to a divisive conclusion on Israel–Gaza/Hamas wars.

In 1948, the Soviet Union and other Soviet East European countries were closed for migration and no Jews could leave those countries to Israel until 1973, or after the U.S. President Richard Nixon and the U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger negotiated with the Soviet government a departure of the Soviet Jews to Israel and to other Western countries. I left the former Soviet Union in 1977 under the status of a political refugee with the Israeli visa, and then detoured to the United States, arriving in Philadelphia on February 1, 1978. Later, my immediate family joined me in Philadelphia in 1979.

In 1948, after Israel was re-born again under the auspices of the United Nations, most Jews that had settled in their historic homeland (Judeo/Israel) arrived from Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and other Middle Eastern territories. Today, virtually no Jews remain in those Middle Eastern countries. Many Soviet Jews immigrated to Israel in the 1970s and 1980s.

Belcher falsely stated that, “Gazans have the highest level of education of any other group in the world and the lowest level of illiteracy.”

Really, not Singapore, Finland or the U.S.? Where did this peculiar data come from? Indeed, from kindergarten on, Gazans teach their children to hate and, eventually, to exterminate their nearest neighbor — Israel — and all Jews worldwide. How can anyone in the right conscious negotiate a peaceful agreement or two-state coexistence with a nation committed to this type of hateful ideology?

Here is another “beauty” from Belcher’s article: “Frustrated with the Palestinian Authority, in 2006 they [Gazans] voted in Hamas, hoping for change. There was never another election. Gazans grew to hate them — realizing that Hamas didn’t care about the lives of the Israelis or the Gazans.”

Indeed, Palestinians voted the terrorist organization, Hamas, to govern Gaza. Even today, some poles conducted by independent organizations suggested that most Gazans support Hamas’s heinous attacks on Israel; and, given a chance, they will attack Israel again and again, and again…. until its complete annihilation “From the river to the sea.”

Furthermore, Belcher continues her remarkably distorted statements: “The Jews, desperate for safety and a country they could call their own, forcibly expelled 750,000 Palestinians to Jordan, Lebanon and other countries, blew up 500 villages, marching their occupants across the desert to Gaza which they surrounded with barbed wire and soldiers. Now an open-air prison of 2½ million dependent on food, clean water, medicine and fuel from their captors. Their lives have been difficult — no one I’ve met wants to be there. They long to “go home” to their villages.

This narrative contains nothing from the factual truth, and I don’t even know where to start in dismantling it. In fact, the entire Belcher’s article is full of false assertions and a complete lack of understanding of Middle Eastern and Jewish history. Belcher is not alone in her bias and uneducated assertions on this subject. The far-left media notoriously make various historical and statistical errors that lead the public to a divisive conclusion on Israel–Gaza/Hamas wars.

The causes of the Oct. 7, 2023, heinous Gaza’s attack on Israel is deeply rooted in multi-faceted historic, religious and ethnic issues of global terrorism. Historically, terrorism has always been a complex problem for humanity and for peace-seeking nations. Indeed, only united will we win against anti-Semitism and world terrorism.

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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Israel/Gaza: A response to Dixie Belcher’s historically-flawed Juneau Empire article

Alexander Dolitsky
The writer was raised in the former Soviet Union before settling in the U.S. in 1978. He moved to Juneau in 1986 where he has taught Russian studies at the University of Alaska, Southeast. He is now director of the Alaska-Siberia Research Center and has published extensively in the fields of anthropology, history, archaeology, and ethnography.


  • Diana says:

    Thank you for setting the record straight.

  • Leslie says:

    Where did she get these comments? I don’t even know what to say! Does this newspaper fact check? Thank you for your factual response.

  • Tamra Nygaard says:

    When you inform a Hamas lover that many Arabs live in Israel with all the rights of any other citizen, and that Arabs serve in the Knesset, they simply say that’s not true. Don’t expect rabid leftists to care about the truth. They simply dismiss it out of hand.

  • John J Otness says:

    Pure propaganda…

  • John J Otness says:


  • John. J Otness says:


  • Neil DeWitt says:

    Thank you for writing this article..It should show liberals what I’ve been saying for tgeladt 3.5 years. They hear something embellish on it and print it. The rest read it and believe it yo be facts. Bottom line it’s fact made up B.S. liberal propaganda and not a strand of truth in it!

  • micah says:

    Love my Jewish brothers and sisters, but agree with our Orthodox friends that Zionism is a supremacist ideology. This article is filled with Zionist propaganda. I will pass on articles written by this person.

    • Alexander Dolitsky says:

      Where did you find Zionism in my article? Be more specific.

    • Alexander Dolitsky says:

      To Micah: Zionism is the movement for self-determination and statehood for the Jewish people in their ancestral and historic homeland—the land of Israel. Zionism is Israel’s national ideology. Zionists believe that Judaism is a nationality and religion. Zionism has nothing to do with the supremacy of Jewish nation over others.

      • micah says:

        I will leave you to your propaganda sir. You can invest the time yourself if you wish to question your presuppositions. Maybe begin with why orthodox jews reject zionism.

        As an aside, I have read some of your columns were you advocate for this country to involve itself in optional foreign wars. I suggest this is an extremely bad look and as well as bad form for an immigrant to this country.

    • Tamra Nygaard says:

      And yet, here you are reading the article. Zionism says that Jews have the right to live in their historical homeland. Nowhere does it state that Jews are better than anyone else. You may think so, but then you might think the sun is blue and the sky is yellow, and that would not change the facts. Your bigotry is showing. See my comment above. Denying facts for your own purposes does not make a discussion of facts propaganda.

      • John J Otness says:

        So naive to what is truly going. on…

      • Alexander Dolitsky says:

        To Micah: Have I advocated an optional war or any war in my articles? Again, be more specific. Otherwise, you are fabricating information, just like Dixie Belcher did in her article published in the Juneau Empire.

  • George says:

    The Muslims want to enslave the whole world in a global caliphate. The colonist settlers of Islam have conquered by the sword from Senegal on the Atlantic to Bangladesh on the Indian Ocean, 6,000 miles. Israel is 60 miles wide. Who are the real settler colonists? They are busy taking over Europe now.

  • Alexander Dolitsky says:

    To Micah: Have I advocated an optional war or any war in my articles? Again, be more specific. Otherwise, you are fabricating information, just like Dixie Belcher did in her article published in the Juneau Empire.

  • Alexander Dolitsky says:

    To Aunt Sally: I left the former Soviet Union in 1977 as a political refugee. Then, my Soviet citizenship was revoked and I could not come back to the USSR until 1988. I have lived in the United States since February 1, 1978. I am a United States citizen and the U.S. is my only country.

    I have to be careful in answering your question regarding Muslim migration to the US. I am a contributor to Alaska Watchman and it is critical for me to be impartial in my writing. However, I have to say the following. In 1973, (I was 21 years old) I worked in the remote areas of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. I was a participant of the archaeological excavation in Turkmenistan, about 50 km north of Afghanistan. In working there, I experienced an aggressive nature and hostility of the local people toward Russian-speaking people. Most villagers did not speak Russian or refused to speak Russian. Their commitment to Islam and somewhat ancient traditions were beyond my expectations; even 46 years (from 1917 to 1973) of the socialist system could not change their deep beliefs and traditions.

    Historically, Muslims lived on the territory of today’s Russia long before Russia became a state (about 9th century AD). Today 14% of the population of the Russian Federation are Muslims (mostly in the middle of the Volga River and Caucasus Mountains). Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan) today are independent states. These are predominantly Muslims countries too.

    In short, only in my hypothetical opinion, the demographic in the U.S. will significantly change if Arabs from Gaza will enter the U.S. This group will not assimilate easily in our still Judeo-Christian nation. Europe is a good example of the consequences of the massive Muslim immigration. I travel to Europe frequently, and today Europe is beyond recognition.

  • Aunt Sally says:

    And not to unfairly pick on you but I also find it curious that you state “The anti-Semitic practice of pogroms ended in the early 1920s under the Bolsheviks” without mentioning the fact that the bloodthirsty Bolshevik ghouls who ended the pogroms before going on to murder and imprison tens of millions of Christians were disproportionately and perhaps even predominantly Jewish, Alex. Why is that? Might you be inclined to look upon the Bolsheviks as the good guys in that struggle?

    • Alexander Dolitsky says:

      To Aunt Sally: Pogroms ended in the 1920s in Russia, as the government-organized anti-Semitic practice, but anti-Semitism, atheism, prosecution of believers in God of all religious denominations continued under Soviet/Stalinist/Bolsheviks regime. You are asking a simple question that requires a complex answer. My family, all Jews and Christians in the former Soviet Union (1917 to 1992) have suffered great discrimination, and this was a reason(s) of our departure from the former Soviet Union.

      I responded to Belcher’s statement, “In 1948 the United Nations gave the country of Palestine to European Jews escaping hundreds of years of “pogroms”…”
      As I stated above, the government-organized anti-Semitic practice of “pogroms” ended in the early 1920s under the Bolsheviks’ (Soviet regime if you wish) rulings of a newly formed Soviet Union in 1922. It is a chronological impossibility for East European Jews of the 1920s to settle in Israel of 1948, or until the early 1970s (when I left the Soviet Union). I made this point very clearly in my article. Of course, anti-Semitism and other ethnic atrocities continued in Europe up to the present time.

    • John J. Otnesss says:

      Ty Aunt Sally,,, This was my point. that he deleted. the shapeshifting bolsheviks. then became. communists,,,

  • Debi Kirchner says:

    Sad how the media is trying and succeeding to make Hamas the victims. Do some research and don’t read/believe the human rights crap that the reporters are made to write their stories from. No one is allowed to be inside Gaza and write about it unless what they write is sanctioned by Hamas. We are fools.