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November 22: Wrong focus
By JERUSALEM POST READERS
11/21/2012
Do Hamas newspapers print stories on how Israeli citizens have suffered as a direct result of the ongoing missile barrages?
 
Wrong focus

Sir, – News flash to The Jerusalem Post and to the Shaheen family: In “No wedding bells in Gaza” (November 20), nowhere is it mentioned that the reason Israel is sending missiles to Gaza is in defense of the Israeli people who have been bombarded for years by the rockets sent from there! If I had read such an article in a paper other than one that originates in Israel, I might have been frustrated by the lack of balance.

But from here in Israel! I’m outraged.

Go tell the bride to complain to her terrorist compatriots who, as Golda Meir once said, hate our children more than they love their own.

Jerusalem Post, shame on you.

SUSAN KATZ
Efrat

Sir, – I was disgusted reading “No wedding bells in Gaza.”

In the midst of a war this is not the kind of article to print. We should rally against the enemy and encourage our leaders not to hold back because of a single soppy story about one particular Gazan.

We did not choose to harm civilians first, so Gazans shouldn’t be surprised if we respond and attack even harder. Yara Shaheen’s complaints should be directed toward her leaders, not ours.

And by the way, Israeli brides also need to postpone their weddings right now. The war is twosided, but the article is not.

BONNIE WEINBERG
Nof Ayalon

Sir, – I find it disconcerting that while our government and army are engaged in a war to defend our brethren in Sderot, Ashkelon, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from missile attacks, you decide to print a human interest story of a distressed bride-to-be in Gaza.

I’m just curious: Do Hamas newspapers print stories on how Israeli citizens have suffered over the past several years as a direct result of the ongoing missile barrages?
PINCHAS GERBER
Karnei Shomron

Symetrical warfare

Sir, – With regard to “EU asserts Israel’s right to ‘proportional’ self defense, calls for immediate end to violence” (November 20), there’s that word again.

I went to the dictionary and looked up “proportional.” One of the definitions had to do with symmetry. I suggest that Kathryn Ashton and her followers in the EU, UN and elsewhere stop speaking (and thinking) in cliches.

If we behave “proportionally,” we surely are allowed to bomb cities in Gaza, as they are doing to us. Or did I miss something?

THELMA JACOBSON
Petah Tikva

Sir, – A Hamas rocket hits a building in Israel, causing casualties and damage. An Israeli strike hits a building in Gaza, causing casualties and damage. Would that be considered “proportional,” or is it a question of numbers?

GERALD SCHOR
 Ra’anana

Land is the key

Sir, – Michael Sussman (“Hamas’s political wartime gains,” Comment & Features, November 20) explains that Hamas is in a win-win situation because it is willing to demonstrate its credibility by attacking usurping Zionists, whatever the cost. In a sense, Gaza under Hamas has become a collective suicide bomber.

How to defeat it? A core belief in Islamic theology is the idea that the world is divided between dar-el-Harb, or the land of war, and dar-el-Islam, the land of Islam. It is the duty of a jihadist to wage war against darel- Harb until all land is dar-el- Islam.

To a Muslim, victory means taking land from the infidel, and defeat means losing it to the infidel. It is therefore essential that Israel lower Hamas’s status in the eyes of fellow Muslims.

The way to do that is to take away land.

Whether Israel replants the former settlements or carves out a buffer zone, it must do something with the land to achieve victory and demoralize this evil aggressor. Every square inch taken from Hamas is one more reclaimed for civilization.

DAVID KATCOFF
Jericho, Vermont

Stick to medicine

Sir, – Johannes van der Heide of Amsterdam had a lot to say (“Readers from abroad weigh in on Pillar of Defense,” Letters, November 20). It’s just a pity that none of it was relevant or on point to the situation at hand.

Van der Heide cites everything from terrorists and fascists to a bad peace being better than a good war. Would Dutch citizens be okay with being shot at daily? Dr. Van der Heide, I suggest you stick to medicine, for which you might be better suited, rather than to philosophical conversations that are way off point.

COOKIE SCHWAEBER-ISSAN
Gizo

Sir, – Reader Johannes van der Heide asserts that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians support a two-state solution.

It is essential to understand that the basic philosophies of organizations such as Hamas and Fatah are not commensurate with the survival of the Jewish state. Their charters are publicly available and should be read by all interested parties.

For a brief and decisive summary of the real situation, please take a look at the logos of these organizations. It stands to reason that if they have Israel as a central feature of their logos, it is transparently indicative of their resolute aims and ambitions.

GIDEON HACK
Zichron Ya’acov

Collective punishment

Sir, – Susan Hattis Rolef (“Shylock and pigheadedness,” Think About It, November 19) criticizes Israeli policy as “punishing the Palestinians collectively in the name of security.” Unfortunately, she fails to recognize that international law prohibiting collective punishment applies only to criminal convictions and punishment for crimes that group members did not personally commit.

Just as a government has a responsibility to serve its citizens, the electorate must also take responsibility for the government it empowers. A population cannot claim to be absolved of all blame for the actions of the government it elected.

Palestinian voters who supported either Hamas or the PA in the last election did not elect their representatives solely to keep the streets clean. They knew that Hamas stood for violent “resistance” and the annihilation of the neighboring Jewish state.

The degradation of living conditions as the result of acts committed by a people’s government is not only permissible, it is perfectly reasonable. If Palestinians truly object to Hamas’s terrorist ways and the PA’s intransigence, they must replace their current leaders.

Failing that, they are complicit in their governments’ activities and may expect to pay the price.

EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Ya’acov

Sir, – “Shylock and pigheadedness” was worthy of the anti-Semitic screeds of Hamas – or, for that matter, Der Sturmer. All that was lacking was an accompanying cartoon of Israeli officials as hook-nosed demons wielding bloody knives against innocent Arabs.

Building homes for Jewish citizens in disputed territories is “not much different” from Shylock’s demand for a pound of flesh? The “policy of relentlessly punishing the Palestinians collectively in the name of security for Israel’s Jewish citizens” is merely bloody, merciless vindictiveness – again, like Shylock? The implication is that there is no real threat at all, simply a fictitious excuse for Israeli cruelty.

Perhaps in Rolef’s parallel universe Israel has heartlessly, irrationally (or “pigheadedly”) deprived Gazans of food, water and electricity. Perhaps their duly elected rulers have never lobbed a single missile into Israel. If we weren’t so pigheaded, we would simply follow the wise and merciful teachings of our betters, the Western democracies, and then there would be peace.

SARAH GILEAD
Nesher
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