Sir, – I am not Jewish. I do not have Jewish ancestors. But I recently spent two
weeks in Israel. I fell in love with the country and its people and I met new
friends. I returned to Poland on November 12, at the start of Operation Pillar
Now I watch the news, read The Jerusalem Post website – and
I’m terrified. The government has authorized the call-up of 75,000 reservists.
Even Jerusalem is threatened. It’s a nightmare.
I keep my fingers crossed
for you and I wish for Israel to end this problem successfully.
Sir, – I work as a doctor in a hospital, reading news on the
Middle East online, and as always I am shaking my head about those crazy
Israelis and Palestinians (albeit from a comfortable distance).
wrong with you? It appears to me that no one in the region shares a number of
values that, in my opinion, are self-evident: 1. There is nothing more valuable
than a human life. No 2,000-year old rights, no religious laws, no higher goal,
Anyone who is ready to kill or die in the name of God or to end
the occupation or terrorism should be imprisoned. And a very large prison would
need to be built.
2. There is no such thing as “The Israelis” or “The
Both groups are diverse.
Failure to recognize this
denies the existence of a large group of peace-loving, normal people within both
groups. Not every Muslim is a terrorist and not every Jew is a fascist.
Palestinian extremists firing missiles at Israel are not only the enemy of
Israelis, but of normal Palestinians. Israeli extremists living in Hebron are
not only the enemy of Palestinians, but of normal Israelis. If violence worked,
there would have been peace by now.
3. Israelis and Palestinians may have
more in common than they think. In both groups the majority supports a two-state
Both suffer from zealots who think that being right is more
important than human life.
Israelis and Palestinians fear each other. But
in my opinion, there is no conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. There is
a conflict between normal Israelis and Palestinians, on the one hand, and
extremist Israelis and Palestinians, on the other. I dream of a large, joint
Israeli- Palestinian peace movement, with normal Israelis and Palestinians
demonstrating side-by-side in the streets of Jerusalem, denouncing Israeli and
Somewhere in the future, a peace settlement will
loom, probably imposed by the US and the EU. It will be far from perfect but it
will have to do. A bad peace is better than a good war.
JOHANNES VAN DER
Sir, – It is with the utmost sincerity that we, the people of
the United States, stand with you and by you in these most troubling
Imagine if any of our 50 states were ever attacked in such a
manner. I can assure you that the US would never tolerate such acts of
aggression and would retaliate with its full force and might.
are doing is the only course of action you have to take. The terrorists go on
and on with attacks; now they shall reap what they have sown.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Sir, – As usual, Israel makes every excuse for
the bombing of Gaza.
I spent much time in your country in the 1970s,
including during the Yom Kippur War.
Nothing has changed. You are still
advocating UN mandates when it suits you, and ignoring those that don’t,
particularly regarding a return to the pre- 1967 boundaries.
that Israel will not be satisfied until the Palestinian enclaves no longer
Remember your history, my friends. You are in danger of becoming
hated by half the world. Your prime minister already is.
Sir, – As Israel finds itself under attack by terrorist forces, it
once again is forced to defend itself militarily, diplomatically and morally.
Once more, as I watch my brethren under attack, the overwhelming emotion I feel
is pride. Concern, no doubt, for my family and friends, but also pride.
feel pride that, despite everything, Israel has not given in to the gathering
forces that threaten to smother it in darkness. I feel pride that, unlike
Russia, which has called for “restraint,” it doesn’t obliterate entire
neighborhoods or massacre thousands of people. I feel pride that Israeli minds,
among the brightest in the world, have developed a defense system such as Iron
Dome, which is capable of saving lives, not taking them.
Israel is a
country that loves life, respects human rights and embraces the future with
Its enemies are a people that celebrates death, destroys freedom
and seeks to drag the world into a cesspool of despair. Until that changes,
these people will remain in the dark ages while the rest of the world moves
Sir, – With the violence escalating in Gaza
and Israel, I must speak out on behalf of the innocent civilians of
Their resounding cries and pleas for help must be heard.
young population there has been forcibly embroiled in deadly games. Having
worked in Gaza twice since the last military bombardment four years ago, I know
only too well the scars that will be reopened and the new ones that will
Politics must be swept aside.
The rights of the innocent
people of Gaza who have been long subjected to abhorrent crimes must be
Violence on either side is unacceptable.
However, I am
certain that the mothers, fathers and children of Gaza will bear the brunt of
the slaughter unless this conflict is stopped now.
Sir, – It disturbs and dismays me to see world leaders attempting to
broker a ceasefire in the current hostilities between Israel and
History has proved that the only thing Hamas respects is a greater
show of force than its own. A ceasefire would accomplish nothing more than an
opportunity for Hamas to regroup and rearm with help from its masters in
It is time for the world, including Israel – yes, Israel – to stop
infantilizing the Palestinians in Gaza. Why send daily shipments of food and aid
to those who pray for your destruction and celebrate your death? Providing for
the inhabitants of Gaza has not won you any credit in the eyes of the world.
Furthermore, it frees Hamas from the obligation of caring for its citizens,
leaving it to pursue its murderous agenda against Israel.
voted for Hamas.
Let them take responsibility and accept the consequences
of their foolishness.
Sir, – Those who fire the
rockets knew Israel would retaliate with a vengeance. Israel always
“Disproportionate, barbaric!” cry many advocating peace and justice
in Palestine/Israel – maintaining a deathly silence in the weeks before Ahmed
Jabari’s death, while Gaza nutters lobbed 700 untargetable rockets into southern
Hate-filled Gazans terrorizing and murdering Israelis do their
people no favors; their actions bring ferocious retaliation, death and
destruction. Hate-filled Israelis occupying, terrorizing, and murdering Gazans
do their people no favors; their policies trigger murderous actions by those
they occupy, and the concomitant trauma, death and destruction on all.
Israeli and Gazan leaders: What long-lasting good has come from your actions and
policies? Is this really the “better world” you want to leave for your children
and your children’s children?" I, a Jew, just returned from the olive harvest in
the West Bank.
My Palestinian friends and I know there’s a better way.
Our friendship and actions will lead to it!