Improper forum

Sir, – With regard to “Liberman: Gaza op should end with Hamas surrender” (August 24), the foreign minister has not only the right but the responsibility to offer alternative proposals to the government for a successful end to the Gaza war. However, he should not receive our admiration for publicly declaring his objections to the actions of the prime minister.

We welcome an “overall regional solution,” not a blatant political thrust to enhance his career.

R. EHRLICH
Jerusalem

Fit or unfit?

Sir, – Martin Sherman once again makes a lot of sense (“Unfit to govern,” Into the Fray, August 22). The inconclusive Gaza campaign has diverted attention from Iran and Islamic State, with potentially far more lethal problems moving out of the spotlight.

Sherman is absolutely right when he emphasizes some adverse benefits from the success of the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

This is also exactly the case with our discovery of huge gas and oil reserves. Energy independence is a good thing. However, it perpetuates the use of oil because it removes the urgency to develop alternatives.

I just wonder if during the past decade, under the direction of our chief scientist, it would have been better to channel sufficient resources to perfect systems reducing real demand for oil by, say, 20 percent than using them for Iron Dome. Energy prices would have plummeted and the funds flowing to Hamas, Islamic State and similar groups would have been reduced to a trickle.

Even more important, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other countries might no longer have the means available to acquire ever more sophisticated weapons or develop a nuclear arsenal.

It could have been a bloodless victory if we had correctly used our main resource – brain power.

BERNARD DAVID
Petah Tikva

Sir, – Martin Sherman arrives at a most preposterous conclusion.

Israel has many times in its history won a war, only to lose in the post-war negotiations and see its position eroded thereafter. What the Netanyahu government is doing is to move slowly and deliberately to secure world opinion as much as possible and prevent perceptions among its key allies of Israel as over-reacting and war-mongering.

By sticking to a policy of reacting in self-defense, Israel maintains the support of the US Congress and population. By working with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to have a measured response, it is maintaining that crucial alliance.

Israel must continue to ratchet it up until it defeats Hamas. But it cannot be rushed. Rather than incompetent, the Netanyahu government is more competent than ever.

I hope that lovers of Israel are protected from the ideas of Martin Sherman, ideas that will lead to tragedies like the aftermath of the first war in Lebanon.

MICHAEL KRAMER
Yonkers, New York

No chance, Prof.

Sir, – I recently have begun enjoying reading Prof. Alan M. Dershowitz’s articles in your esteemed newspaper. However, I am surprised at the following statement in “Islamic State is to America as Hamas is to Israel” (Observations, August 22): “Before Hamas or Islamic State can be considered legitimate political partners, they must give up their violent quest for a worldwide Islamic caliphate.”

A worldwide Islamic caliphate is their raison d’être and this can only be achieved by violent coercion.

Once this ideal is forgone there is no reason for them to exist, and they therefore would have to disband, an action they certainly would be averse to doing.

DAVID PLATZKY
Jerusalem

Boteach booster

Sir, – You had to print no fewer than nine pictures of Shmuley Boteach and his family visiting wounded IDF soldiers to accompany “Fortress Israel” (No Holds Barred, August 22). Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gets one picture, President Reuven Rivlin one, former president Shimon Peres one and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz one. Boteach gets nine! Have you become his press agent or publisher? Is there no limit to your pandering and relativistic scale of journalistic standards?

NORMAN M. MESKIN
Jerusalem

State of mind...

Sir, – I agree with the basic premise in Frederick Krantz’s “Israel, Hamas and the third (and fourth?) Gaza war: A Clausewitzian perspective” (Comment & Features, August 21), that war is an instrument of policy and Israel’s policy should be the defeat of Hamas.

I believe, though, that such policy can be achieved by methods other than those proposed by Clausewitz, which include disarmament of the enemy. After all, this method was tried in the aftermath of World War I, but as we all know a disarmed Germany was quick to recover and took the world along to another round of death and destruction.

Only by changing the state of mind of an enemy, when it no longer wants to resort to war as a method of policy, can true stability and security be achieved.

LILY POLLIACK
Jerusalem

...and other ways

Sir, – The one thing that has been and continues to remain constant is the Palestinians’ declared goal to destroy Israel. The fact that each conflict ends with victory for Israel is unimportant in terms of bringing peace.

The problem is that repeated efforts to come to a peace agreement do not address the most critical issue – their desire to destroy Israel. How can peace be bolstered by one side’s commitment to destroy the other? In this fashion, peace will continue to remain a fiction.

It’s time to fight the other war – the desire to wipe Israel off the map. It must become part of Israel’s strategy to end this war and every war. It has to be nurtured in the public domain, repeated and repeated in the course of every peace effort until it becomes embedded in the minds of the negotiators.

BARBARA SCHIPPER
Jerusalem

Sir, – So averse to pigs are Islamic fundamentalists that contact with these animals or any part of them means defiling themselves. So we should start dropping leaflets over Gaza warning that we have greased our bullets with pork fat.

At night we should blast the area – with recordings of hog snorts.

If the terrorists won’t come out of the tunnels, we should send pen-loads of trotters in to nuzzle them. We should force feed Hamas prisoners with pork rinds until they give up the locations of the tunnels and their leaders.

If their religion is driving them to hate Jews and rewarding them to kill our people, then it is hardly indecent to use their faith against them to protect ourselves. To paraphrase writer Paul Sperry in an article that appeared on the World Net Daily website, send in the porkers. Lock the fundamentalists out of paradise and watch them surrender.

BARBARA OBERMAN
Herzliya Pituah

For future deals

Sir, – I have an idea that Israel might want to consider if faced with another prisoner exchange.

Instead of freeing hundreds if not thousands of imprisoned terrorists for one Israeli, how about having Hamas and its affiliates give up hundreds if not thousands of rockets for each terrorist!

PERLA FOX
San Diego, California

Let her leave

Sir, – Likud MK Danny Danon calls to bar Balad MK Haneen Zoabi from leaving the country so she cannot run away to Qatar (“Zoabi: Police are persecuting me for my ‘legitimate’ political views,” August 20). In my view we should provide every assistance for her to leave. The sooner the better!

ARTHUR LIEBERTHAL
Haifa

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