This column is a response to Kirsa Hughes-Skandijs’ letter, “Black-and-white view of Gaza goes too far,” published in the Juneau Empire on March 19.

In her letter, Hughes-Skandijs has questioned why “…groundless accusations that perpetuate his [Dolitsky] black-and-white view should have made it to print,” referring to my column, “Israel-Gaza and historic, religious and ethnic challenges of global terrorism” published on March 4 in the Juneau Empire, which itself was a response to Dixie Belcher’s column published on February 26.

Why was my article published in Juneau Empire? For the same reason that “groundless and misleading” Hughes-Skandijs’s letter was published in Juneau Empire.

Remember, in America we still live in a democratic society, where citizens of our country exercise freedom of speech and expression, and also exercise check and balances — a system in which the different parts of an organization (e.g., government) have powers that control the other parts, so that no part can become too powerful.

In fact, anti-Semitic teaching in Gaza, under censorship of Hamas, from kindergarten on is an indisputable fact.

When individuals contribute their opinions to newspapers, journals or other forms of media, and their work is accepted for publication, they participate in the journalistic tradition, where facts, truths and accuracy are cornerstones of journalism ethics. 

In her letter, Hughes-Skandijs refers to the anti-Semitic and hateful school curriculum in Gaza as a “… scaremongering propaganda.”

She writes: “His [Dolitsky] unsourced claims about bloodthirsty kindergarteners are little more than the kind of scaremongering propaganda we have seen time and again in campaigns of state violence against vulnerable populations.” Frankly, I don’t even understand the meaning of this sentence, just an incoherent mumbling.

In fact, anti-Semitic teaching in Gaza, under censorship of Hamas, from kindergarten on is an indisputable fact. A generation of children in Gaza have been taught to hate from anti-Semitic textbooks (e.g., good read “The roots of Hamas’ terror attack can be found in Gaza’s schools” by Steve Israel,Forward, October 25, 2023).

How can anyone in good conscience negotiate a peaceful agreement or two-state coexistence with a nation committed to this type of hateful ideology?

Hughes-Skandijs made so many false assertions and misinterpretations related to my column that I don’t even know where to start in dismantling it. In her letter, she put words in my mouth, brought Afghanistan, Ukraine and Vladimir Putin into her eccentric teenage-like narrative, and made numerous unfounded accusations.

For example, Hughes-Skandijs writes: “After years of banging the drum for Ukrainian lives, Mr. Dolitsky now apparently feels that all wars are disproportionate and that’s just fine and dandy.”

Yes, indeed, all wars are disproportionate; I don’t just feel it, I know it as a historic and factual truth. I wonder, however, what Hughes-Skandijs was thinking when she made this statement and other false assertions in her letter. Do we speak the same language — English? Shall I explain my position, narrative and statements in three other languages — Ukrainian, Russian or Spanish? Keep in mind, misinterpreting or misconstruing your opponent’s language will not make your narrative more persuasive or credible, just the opposite.

Post-war Germany made a great effort to eradicate Nazi ideology in their country, especially in the school curriculum. Today, synagogues and Holocaust Museums are present in the major German cities — Dresden, Berlin, Frankfurt, and others. Germans of the post-war generation are ashamed of their past, for which they have paid a price.

My mother, my relatives and all Soviet citizens that were under occupation in the former Soviet Union during World War II received a reparation from Germany in the amount of about $3,000 each. My father was a soldier and an officer of the Soviet Army during the war from 1939 to 1947; he was demobilized from the Soviet Army as a low-ranking officer in 1947. Military personnel did not receive a reparation from Germany; they were not considered under occupation, they fought Nazism in the frontline.

Gazans must apply the German’s model as an example and eradicate their hateful ideology toward Israel and other Jews worldwide. The solution for ending the Gaza-Hamas/Israel war in Gaza is pretty simple — Hamas must surrender, get out of their tunnels and return the hostages (including eight Americans), those who perished and those who are still alive, to their families. Why do Hamas still fight, endangering their own countrymen in Gaza?

The views expressed here are those of the author.

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OPINION: Truth and accuracy must be journalistic cornerstones in debating Israel-Gaza war

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.


  • Dee Cee says:

    Alex: how many Palestinians are being held hostage by Israel. Further to that, how many Palestinians have been arrested and held without charges or trial in the past 10 years? The horrible behavior that both sides have displayed to each other goes both ways.

    • Alexander Dolitsky says:

      To Dee Cee: I don’t have primary data (i.e., interview, personal observations, factual evidence) to answer your questions. Secondary sources (some TV, newspapers, blogs) suggest that there are thousands Palestinians being held in the Israeli prisons for committing violent crimes on the Israeli’s territory. You can do further research on this subject based on reliable sources.

      Nevertheless, nothing (e.g., past ten years, resistance speculations, etc.) can justify the heinous attack by Hamas/Palestinians of Gaza on October 7th, indiscriminately killing 1500 innocent Israelis, taking hostages, raping women and burning babies in the ovens. And bragging about these atrocities to their friends and relatives. Even Nazis during WWII would not go that far. The October 7th attack was done intentionally by Hamas/Gazans/Palestinians to create a fear among Jews worldwide and to remind them about Holocaust.

      Please note that your questions are not the subject and focus of my article. I clearly stated my objectives and sources in my article.

  • Aunt Sally says:

    For gosh sake, Alex, you claim to have only one country, the United States, but you sure spend a lot of time waiving your pompoms around trying to stir up pity and admiration for Israel, a foreign country which has also provided a visa for you to travel on. To be quite frank, there’s a rapidly growing number of conservatives – as distinct from neocons – who’re just tired of what’s going on and has been going on over there for decades and we don’t want to pay for any of it any more, we don’t want to see our military members put in harm’s way for it, and we don’t want to put up with any refugee crises brought about by strife over there. American taxpayers are still on the hook for something like $8 trillion in deficit spending to take out Saddam Hussein after much begging from Netanyahu and faulty fear-mongering intelligence suggesting the former had WMDs and now, in addition to that staggering needless debt, we have thousands of dead American military members, many more who’ll need care for the rest of their lives, the West is awash in unassimilable refugees from the region, and none of it should have happened with American lives and resources in the first place. Please also know that my response doesn’t specifically address the content of your essay but there are some striking parallels between where we were in 2003 and where we are now with three American carrier groups standing by, presumably jump into the action, in addition to a colossal American military presence in the area and I’ll call your attention to Pat Buchanan’s cover story for The American Conservative magazine from March 24, 2003, “Whose War?” for reference:

    • Alexander Dolitsky says:

      To Aunt Sally: Yes, Aunt Sally, keep reading my articles; perhaps you will learn something from them. Must Read Alaska (MRAK) and Alaska Watchman (both the most accurate and truthful publishers in Alaska) provided you the forum to express your opinions because these two publishers believe in freedom of speech and expressions in our (U.S.A.) country.

      Nevertheless, far-left activists (i.e., neo-Marxists, socialists, anarchists) usually appear on the surface, just like mushrooms in the woods, during the essential local, state and national elections in our (U.S.A.) country, promoting their radical ideology and offending an opposition. So, good luck!! Keep educating yourself, if it is still possible.

  • John J Otness says:

    Antisemitic teaching in Palestine oh my… Look at the anti Christian television programs in Israel… Why should I defend a people that hate me for my belief? The Talmud says it very clear .
    Oct 7th the world knows the IDF withdrew and allowed whatever happened. World opinion on Israel has soured terribly for this act.

  • Mike Alexander says:

    Mr Dolitsky must be okay with bombing apartment buildings, killing 7 volunteers bringing food to the Palestinians. and shutting off utilities to over two million people of which over fifty percent are under 15 years old. His religion wasn’t mentioned in his credentials, a typical ploy by Zionist Jews. Next question what region of Russia did his parents migrate from? Ukraine was part of Russia(USSR) in 1978. Judging by the actions of Israel siin the last few years Zionism has adopted all the tactics used by the Nazis

  • Trouser Bark says:

    Mr. Dolitsky, your writings are existential nausea delivered as objective educational material.

    Here in the US we have free speech and if you would like to the world to know that you hate Palestinians; go for it. You don’t need to go to such lengths to manufacture the backdrop of villainy upon which to prop your racist views draped in pseudo political nonsense. Jews were invited by a third party to steal Palestinian’s ancestral home and according to history books have been (as a group) disliked. That won’t change despite your consistent crowing of mistreatment and support of a victim culture.

    I also see what others have been concerned about. Either Joel strongly supports your view and is censoring lively banter on your behalf or you’ve been provided editorial control that you do not merit and should not have.

    • Alexander Dolitsky says:

      To Trouser Bark: As my good friend just communicated to me via private correspondence: “Freedom of speech belongs to he/she who owns the press for years. But now, many of us “own” the press. We have broken the back of the mainstream media.
      You will be attacked by the progressive apologists, deniers and propagandists. From their ignorant and comfortable bubble, they can’t and won’t recognize any signs of encroaching totalitarianism. It’s because they are feeding it.
      Our American media is dominated by progressive ideology. Once known for their objective pursuit of the truth based upon the facts with an open mind, they are now indoctrinated by progressive dogma in our illiberal journalism schools and universities.”

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      Go back into your dog house you dog. Your talking points are not lefty talking points or righty talking points – they come from a place of pure evil. You are not anything special, but a puppet for the demons themselves. God Almighty wins. God Almighty wins. God Almighty wins. Now, be gone with you dog.

      • Trouser Bark says:

        Newsflash… if there is a god he’s not the interventionist type so I’m having trouble figuring out what your point may have been. If it was that I am evil you are incorrect. Also no demons, no Santa, and the Easter Bunny isn’t real either. Bad day, dude. It means we have to figure it out on our own.