War is hell

Sir, – With regard to “IAF intensifies strikes as rocket barrage continues” (July 14), I know why Hamas started rocketing us:

• We haven’t delivered enough building materials for it to extend its tunnels into Israel.

• We haven’t provided all-purpose cellular phone service so its can communicate with its sympathizers in Israel in order to direct its rocket fire.

• The electricity we provide is insufficient for lighting up its underground weapons workshops.

• The water we supply to Gaza is not enough for Jacuzzis.

• We have the nerve to ask that they pay for these services on an ongoing basis.

War is hell, and everyone should realize that we are in a hell of a war!

JOSH WIESEN

Haifa

The missing ‘ands’

Sir, – In “J-Street critique of Diaspora Jewry highlights rift in views of Israel” (July 14), the group chides American Jewish organizations for condemning Hamas but forgetting to add the “ands” – like in “and we grieve for families in Gaza whose children are dying” and “and we condemn the incitement that has become too prevalent on the Israeli street.”

I would suggest that the heads of J Street watch CNN or read what’s being said in half a dozen countries, especially South Africa, about Israel and our very just war against Hamas. Are they really suggesting we add a chorus of Jewish voices to this cacophony of hatred of Israel that is being played out on every TV channel and in every newspaper across the world? There should be no wonder that the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations recently sounded a resounding no to the idea of J Street joining the roof body of US Jewish communal groups. It should instead join the American Methodist community of organizations, where its voice will be heard “and” welcomed.

YAACOV PETERSEIL

Jerusalem

Show us the goods


Sir, – We hear all about the hidden rockets under hospitals, schools and homes in the Gaza Strip, but we never see pictures to prove it. How come? Seeing is believing! SYLVIA FRIEDMAN Jerusalem In praise of Iron Dome Sir, – No one seems to know where the saying “there are no atheists in foxholes” originated, and true as it is, the last days’ events should give our homegrown atheists food for thought.

All credit belongs to the Iron Dome crews. But even with the protection they give us and the small number of casualties we have suffered, when set against the number of rockets and indiscriminate attacks, the most confirmed atheist ought to consider that there is a higher power watching over us. Our medieval rabbis, who like to blame every disaster on perceived neglect of Judaism, should also take note. Yet we should all be offering prayers of thanks.

YEHUDIT COLLINS

Jerusalem

A religious war

Sir, – Regarding “Religious overtones in letter from IDF commander to his soldiers draws criticism, support” (July 14), we are told frequently by our elected representatives that Israel is a Jewish and democratic State. Our prime minister insists that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state.

I would define Jews as a people whose religion is Judaism.

Therefore, I cannot see the problem that Mickey Gitzin, head of the secularist movement Israel Be Free, has with Col. Ofer Winter’s words prior to the possible entry by troops from his Givati Brigade into Gaza in defense of the Jewish state of Israel.

Our enemies are constantly quoting the Koran and invoking Allah in their battles against us.

They have made their hatred of us into a religious war. When Mr. Gitzin dons his uniform and stands poised to enter Gaza in the face of Hamas, I wonder if he would then complain about the letter.

As for Rabbi Uri Regev of Hiddush, he, as his title suggests, is a religious and spiritual leader.

It is strange that he rejects an appeal to the Almighty as something distasteful. I would have thought the opposite was the case.

CYRIL ATKINS

Beit Shemesh

So very far away...

Sir, – With regard to “Israel must not make the same mistake twice” (No Holds Barred, July 14), I was once told by a wise woman, a Holocaust survivor, that I could not speak about Israel and what it should or should not do as long as I was living in the United States.

So now we are living in the land and have been through Color Red sirens and are praying that our grandson in the Givati Brigade, and all soldiers, will be safe.

Shmuley Boteach comes here periodically with his famous friends to show off our country, which is good publicity. But then he gets back on the plane and ensconces himself with his computer in comfortable Englewood, New Jersey, and tells us what to do.

We came to Israel without help from any organization. We went to our Florida aliya emissary, filled out the forms and came happily home. Not easy for people who were already grandparents, but we were determined to fulfill our dream.

Rabbi Shmuley, you are much younger than we are and I am quite sure you can decide to make aliya without selling your home. When that happens, I will be only too happy to read your opinions on most anything, including our country.

LIBA HIRSCHMAN
Beit Shemesh

Sir, – There is precious little I enjoy more with my morning siren than hearing Shmuley Boteach telling us how to run (or not run) our country from the comfort of his New Jersey home.

JUDITH SCHMELL
Rehovot

...and even up close

Sir, – David Brinn’s “Victory through a truce?” (Analysis, July 13) is representative of the massive disconnect between citizens of the South and those in other locations, such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

When he writes that “[d] espite Hamas’s macho threats and salvos of rockets, the effect on life in Israel has been minimal,” some of us here in the South have to wonder what planet he is living on. In the early morning of that very day, the Eshkol and Sha’ar Hanegev regions were hit with missiles eight times – at 12:01 a.m., 12:41 a.m., 12:53 a.m., 1:03 a.m., 1:07 a.m., 1:30 a.m., 1:44 a.m. and 1:47 a.m.

Even during the period of “quiet” that the government and IDF so proudly touted as having taken place since Pillar of Defense in 2012, rockets continued to strike these regions and others at least once and even twice a week. Is it any wonder that in places like Sderot there are such astronomical rates of post-traumatic stress disorder? The citizens who continue living in these areas are nothing less than heroic.

Brinn concludes: “Can we live with this kind of outburst every year or every few months? If it means saving countless lives of IDF soldiers and a long, bloody campaign in Gaza, then the answer is yes.”

No one here in the South wants to see the IDF mired down in a ground war in Gaza, but when Israel’s main cities and its international airport have joined us on the target list, we have moved past “something should be done” to “something must be done.”

The time has come for a new political party to represent the interests of the South.

GEORGE ROOKS
Ashdod

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