Dealing with Hamas
Sir, – When Hamas instigated the current war its objective was to inflict maximum civilian casualties on Israel and force it to enter and fight a war against shadows. Its strategy came to a halt when Iron Dome proved to be over 90 percent effective.
The Islamic group appears to have lost the war against the Israeli civilian population but it still has not given up hope of drawing in the IDF. Our dilemma is that if our soldiers enter and totally eliminate it, the vacuum would be filled by a group that’s even more radical. The only reasonable solution is to weaken Hamas as much as possible with air power and enlist the international community to help disarm it.
My solution sounds like pie-in-the-sky politics but I feel the outcome will be the same whether we send in troops or keep them out.
PAUL BERMAN Shoham
Sir, – When I hear missiles dropping over and over and over again, when three Jewish children are murdered by terrorists, I ask my country’s leaders: Why aren’t you protecting me and all Israelis? Why do you stop short of finishing the job of preventing our country from continually being the victim of Arab terrorism? Why are you so scared to tell the world we are not cowardly and that we will protect ourselves? Mr. Prime Minister, look my grandchildren in the eyes and tell them why you would rather send in ground troops, unnecessarily putting their lives on the line, rather than pulling the plug on the water, electricity and food trucks entering Gaza? Why are we rushing Gazans to Israeli hospitals? Why are we collecting and giving them money? The answer to Hamas’s rockets is to evacuate those Gazans who want to leave for other countries; whoever remains gets no electricity, no water, no money, no food or medical supplies.
Our response to the Palestinians should be: You want to be a country? Well, provide for your citizens. We’re done! Mr. Netanyahu, why do you drag your feet? You politicians half-heartedly tiptoe around “sorta” protecting us, with one eye on the next election. Take measures that safeguard our children and protect Israel. How much longer will you allow us to be bullied? The people of Israel look to you and ask: Why are the lights still on in Gaza?
RONDA ISRAEL Modi’in
Sir, – More power to Ben Caspit (“A letter from the bottom of my heart,” July 14). In addition to fighting Hamas and Arab terrorism with military might, it could be time for us to bomb them with the questions he asks.
Caspit challenges the terrorists with their vain hope that we Jews will jump into the sea from frustration. We need to invest in PR in Arabic directed at the masses of Palestinians in Gaza as well as Judea and Samaria.
We should use creative cartoons, short skits, debates and letters to urge them to stop this insane campaign to push us into the sea.
The message must be the futility of continued hostility and the necessity of investing in agriculture and industry to improve the welfare of their own people. We must try to arouse the resistance of the Palestinians to the reality their leaders have thrust on them.
It will not be an easy or shortterm task, but we must begin with a constant barrage of creative measures to convince them over time that their best interests lie in peaceful coexistence.
RON BELZER Petah Tikva
Sir, – With regard to “The Gaza numbers game” (Comment & Features, July 15), it is clear the struggle is not between 6 million Israelis and 3 million Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. Given the number of attacks on Jews worldwide, the struggle is clearly between 10 million Jews and 1 billion Muslims.
True, not all Muslims are concerned with killing Jews. But those carrying out terrorist assaults aren’t pausing to examine the social and political orientation of those they are attacking.
It is sufficient for the target to be a Jew, even an atheist or agnostic or self-hating Jew, to make him worthy of slaughter.
Do the math. With 10 million Jews and 1 billion Muslims, our response must be far stronger.
MOSHE SAPERSTEIN Nitzan
Sir, – Here is a modest proposal to ensure there is no disproportion between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.
We should turn off the Iron Dome system until our death toll equals that in Gaza. Also, to ensure proportionate force, we should stop using the IAF and instead use unguided rockets fired into populated areas, as Hamas does. That way the good liberals in Europe and the US need not complain.
Would this satisfy them? What they apparently want is more Jewish blood.
YAAKOV BEN-MEIR Netanya
Sir, – According to European Union foreign policy head Catherine Ashton, “The EU deplores the growing number of civilian casualties... caused by Israeli retaliatory fire. The safety and security of all civilians must be of paramount importance” (“Shielding behavior,” Editorial, July 13).
Well, Lady Ashton, any government’s primary responsibility is to look after the safety and welfare of it’s own citizens. So here’s the deal: Our government will do its job and let Hamas (the PA government, for that matter) do its own. If Gaza is sustaining a disproportionate number of casualties, perhaps it’s an indication that the government there is not doing anywhere near as good a job of looking after its citizens as is ours.
So perhaps Lady Ashton should be telling Hamas it’s time to reassess its strategies in order to do a better job. This is the line our government should be taking incessantly in response to any such nonsensical comments from international interferers.
WARREN ZAUER Jerusalem Measly minutes Sir, – Whenever I hear the announcement at the end of the English-language news on the radio – “Don’t let the government silence the Voice of Israel” – I am overwhelmed with dismay.
Instead of shutting down IBA’s English news, we should be broadcasting it to the Western world 24 hours a day. Instead of having people watch Al Jazeera and other hostile news channels abroad, and reading anti-Israel and anti-Semitic articles in their newspapers, we should be explaining what is really happening here.
The ignorance abroad is horrific.
People still believe Hamas is fighting the occupation of Gaza.
What occupation? In 2005 it was gifted to the Palestinians at shocking Israeli sacrifice.
They inherited greenhouses that could bring in millions of shekels of export produce; natural scenery and beaches to attract tourists world-wide; lovely homes and gardens. Within hours everything the Jews had built up and cherished was destroyed and the area became a hellhole for the production and launching of missiles, bringing death to their own people as well as to ours.
We have wonderful, intelligent broadcasters. We have remarkable people capable of writing scripts that explain accurately and coherently the agenda of Hamas. Where are they? At a time when Israel has never been more denigrated and misunderstood globally, why are we not explaining our position 24 hours a day instead of threatening to close down the measly minutes of English news now doled out reluctantly?
DVORA WAYSMAN Jerusalem
At least he listened Sir, – Walking recently along a one-way street we saw a car enter from the wrong end. We explained this to the driver – who, with a shrug, turned his car around and continued in reverse.
JOSH FEINGOLD Jerusalem