Sir, – Thank God, with most of us finally on the same page, the only question being passed around is whether we want to wipe out Hamas altogether or simply weaken it enough for fear of having it replaced by an even more radical group (“IDF launches ground offensive against Hamas,” July 18).

To all our political leaders once again: Wake up! For many reasons, the choice to wipe out Hamas and the evil it represents is the only decision that can possibly be made.

You always wipe out the bad guy, and you want to show whoever is waiting in the wings that we are capable of doing it. If the group in the wings is as strong as some fear, it would already have deposed Hamas.

YECHIEL AARON
Hashmonaim

Sir, – What country in the world would put its own forces at high risk in preference to the citizens of the enemy? Please, please put things into a serious perspective. Don’t let this happen! ROSINA FISHER Jerusalem Sir, – What this country is now witnessing is a continuous twoyear period of calm followed by a sudden explosion of rocketry on the civilian population. It cannot continue like this.

The “periodic” truces are nonsense.

Unfortunately, the experiment of handing over the Gaza Strip to lunatics misfired. It must be retaken by the army regardless of the international firestorm that will follow.

No country can endure these endless cycles of violence – when each round of fighting commences, the range of Hamas’s missiles has been significantly extended. It’s like playing Russian roulette. And a sustained air campaign will never work.

MITCHELL RADOV
Ashdot Ya’acov

Sir, – A conquest of the Gaza tunnels seems to be an intractable problem. It could, sadly, lead to many casualties in the IDF. I have a very simple solution that would save Israeli lives. It uses a readily available commodity: water.

The is no need for our troops to have to fight in the tunnels to get rid of Hamas. All that is required is to pump water from the sea or the local water mains at a high rate to flood the tunnels. The enemy would either drown or emerge, and all his equipment and resources would be rendered useless, hopefully forever.

There is enough sea water to completely flood all the tunnels.

BOB GOLD
Jerusalem

Sir, – There is an old saying that it takes two hands to clap.

Uri Savir (“The day after,” Savir’s Corner, July 18) seems to think one will do.

This blindness to the real intent of our enemies is a darkness much worse than the absence of light. It is fraught with the danger of expulsion from our beloved land. The Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria do not want a two-state solution; they want us out. How often must they state this for it to sink in? Savir believes military force will not succeed. Would he have sat down with the Nazis to work out a peace deal? Chamberlain tried.

Only military force did the job.

We are dealing with the scum of the earth and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is proving himself a leader of the first order.

He, like us, has had enough. He means what he says, that one way or another, through diplomacy or war, this is the last time we will allow Hamas’s rockets to strike us with impunity.

Let us leave it to him and to the IDF. Savir can peddle his wares elsewhere.

EDMUND JONAH
Rishon Lezion

Sir, – Hamas has launched well over a thousand missiles into Israel. Of these, approximately 70 percent have fallen on unpopulated territory, meaning only about 30% could be expected to fall on populated (protected) territory.

Since the success rate of the Iron Dome anti-missile system is about 90%, this means that only a few dozen rockets were actually able to penetrate populated areas. This is a laughable proportion, indicating that Hamas’s strategy is totally futile. Imagine the cost and danger of firing so many rockets for no reason.

SIDNEY COHEN
Netanya

Sir, – Cairo wants to end the current violence between Arabs and Israelis since it realizes that Hamas also threatens Egypt. It understands that a victorious Hamas endangers the whole world since it encourages terrorists everywhere.

Egypt wants to dismantle Hamas’s rockets, many of which are made out of irrigation pipes stolen from Israel – a reverse of Isaiah’s vision of “beating spears into pruning hooks.” The people of Gaza would be so much better off when these pipes are again used for irrigation.

Remember, though, that Germany wanted a cease-fire in 1944 but Churchill refused to repeat the mistake of 1918 and insisted on an unconditional surrender.

CHARLES OREN
Herzliya

Sir, Your prime minister’s attitude that Israel doesn’t take into account world opinion doesn’t say much for you as a country, as truly reasonable people do listen to what the world has to say and take steps to ensure that they think twice about their actions.

Unfortunately, Israel does live by the memory of the Holocaust only and seems immune to examining its use of force in the present situation. You have so much going for you – support from the US, nuclear weapons and good living conditions. What have the others got? An extreme organization, weapons that can’t achieve anything.

You are a most intelligent nation but find it hard to believe that ex-Israel supporters like myself view your stance toward Palestine as unbelievable, considering what you have suffered in the past. Unfortunately, more and more people are viewing Israel in this way.

MARY CLARKE
Seaford, UK

Sir, – If I were advising our prime minister I would beg him to read (or reread) Carl von Clausewitz’s Vom Krieg (On War).

It is one of the most important treatises on political-military analysis and strategy ever written.

Von Clausewitz saw history as a vital check on erudite abstractions that did not accord with experience. The first of his many dialectical thesis is that “war is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will.” The second, often treated as his “bottom line,” is in fact merely his dialectical antithesis: “War is merely the continuation of policy by other means.”

If our prime minister truly wants a permanent and true peace he must make our opponents in Gaza sue for peace and demilitarize.

HARRY ORENSTEIN
Elazar


Sir, – With regard to “After the cannons fall silent” (“Frontlines, July 18), there is one more thing that is crucial in this situation, and that is Iran, which is now virtually off the radar because of Gaza and the shooting down of the Malaysian passenger aircraft.

As things are, Iran will almost certainly get a free pass and realize its nuclear ambitions thanks to a phenomenally weak and leaderless US and EU. Winning or losing in Gaza pales in significance.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has two choices: let Iran go nuclear and go down in what could be a short history, or act courageously and diminish the Iranian threat. If it’s the latter, the bonus is that Hamas would find itself vulnerable because of the reduced influence of its principle backer.

I. KEMP
Nahariya

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