The difference

Sir, – Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge I’ve seen countless posts on social media accounts that simply say “#FreePalestine,” followed by people arguing back and forth about who’s at fault.

It makes me realize we’re not asking a very obvious question: What exactly do people want to free Palestine from? Let’s see what would happen if we were to free Palestine of support from its democratic neighbor, Israel. For starters, the food, water and medical attention being provided by Israel to Gaza would be gone. Over 70,000 Palestinians would be left without free electricity.

Sounds like a lousy deal to me.

Now, what would happen if we freed Palestine from Hamas? Innocent Palestinians wouldn’t be dying, instructed to stay in harm’s way instead of running for shelter.

In fact, they would not be in harm’s way at all. Martyrdom wouldn’t be vogue. Streets and stadiums wouldn’t be named after murderers. Children wouldn’t learn how to shoot a gun before learning how to ride a bike. For that matter, children wouldn’t learn to hate a Jew before learning how to love a life.

I ask my question again: What exactly do people want to free Palestine from – a country that cares more than its neighbor about the neighbor’s civilians, or a terrorist organization run and managed through violence, racism and evil?

I think it’s quite clear. We need to change “#FreePalestine” to “#FreePalestineFromHamas.” Much better.

MELODY HAC
Los Angeles

Sir, – Answers to six questions that you can take to the bank: 1. Israel agreed to a cease-fire so Gaza could receive humanitarian aid. Would Hamas agree to that for Israelis? 2. Israel notified people in Gaza to evacuate for their own safety.

Has Hamas done that? 3. Israel brings injured or sick Palestinians to its hospitals for treatment. Would Hamas do that for Israelis? 4. Israel has transplanted body organs from Israelis to Palestinians.

Would Hamas do that for Israelis? 5. Israel took immediate action to find and arrest the murderers of an Arab boy. Has Hamas done the same with the murderers of three Israeli boys? 6. If an American had a choice of walking in a dark alley with either 10 Israelis or one Hamas teenager, which would he choose?

SARANNE ROSNER
Jerusalem

Far-off critics

Sir, – So Nick Clegg (who?) is criticizing Israel for alleged collective punishment and disproportionality (“Clegg blasts Israel’s air strikes on Gaza,” July 18).

In World War II the Germans bombarded Britain with flying bombs and rockets. This caused great damage and many casualties.

However, it was little compared to the systematic destruction of German cities by the British, together with the Americans, causing massive civilian deaths. Also, the US virtually obliterated two Japanese cities, killing mainly civilians – and that in a country that had never attacked the American mainland.

It ill behooves any Briton or American to lecture Israel about how to wage a war.

OSCAR DAVIES
Jerusalem

Sir, – If Nick Clegg had been Britain’s prime minister in 1940, Hitler’s Germany would have won the Second World War.

RAYMOND CANNON
Netanya

Sir, – Turkey’s prime minister is again speaking out against Israel (“Erdogan accuses Israel of Gaza ‘terrorism,’” July 15).

I am surprised that no one here has publicly mentioned the situation of the Kurds. They do not have their own country, nor do they have the rights Israel has given the Palestinians. Turkey has in the past invaded Iraq and Syria to attack the Kurds.

It should also be said that Turkey is an expert on genocide, having tried to wipe out the Armenians. It still has not apologized or paid compensation.

MICHAEL H. DAVIS
Rishon Lezion

Today’s Nehemiah


Sir, – According to the Book of Nehemiah, our enemies heard we had repaired the breaches in the walls surrounding Jerusalem. They planned to surprise us and kill us.

Nehemiah warned the people that the sword was coming. He told the people not to be afraid but to think of God and fight.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu now has the role of Nehemiah.

We, too, must not be afraid. We must think of God and fight.

GERALD ARANOFF
Bnei Brak

Welcome for coffee

Sir, – Regarding “Weak coffee, strong conversation” by Dan Gordon (Observations, July 17), my dominant sense is hearing and as such it is no surprise that I became a music therapist.

In the cacophony of sounds that literally bombards us on a day-today basis, it was a welcoming relief to hear Mr. Gordon’s voice in a “strong conversation.” He articulated, clearly and beautifully, in approximately 1,300 words, what I have been feeling and to which I have been unable to attach any words.

Thank you, Mr. Gordon. Your voice rings true. And if you are ever passing through Ra’anana, it would be my privilege to make you a cup of Turkish coffee. Be safe.

SARA JACOBOVICI
Ra’anana

The four boys

Sir, – With regard to “Alleged murderers of Abu Khdeir to be indicted today” (July 17), the crime is so heinous that it calls for special treatment besides the regular legal process. Defenders of Jewish values (i.e., rabbis, teachers, etc.) must get involved and the evil must be removed our midst.

The killers must be excised from the Jewish people. It must be announced formally and informally that they cannot be allowed to be part of a minyan or marry within Israel. They are not to receive any benefits specific to Jews. They must be outcasts completely.

AHARON GOLDBERG
Hatzor Haglilit

Sir, – Has the Israeli government provided publicly any evidence that Hamas committed the abduction and killing of the three Israeli youths? If so, where is this evidence located?

SANFORD SILVERBURG
Salisbury, North Carolina

What’s his agenda?


Sir, – Douglas Bloomfield’s longtime partisan lobbying for US candidates validates his possible expertise in “ensur[ing] the flow of Jewish campaign dollars” to “those collecting for their own coffers” and “want to help themselves” (“Oy vey, send money,” Washington Watch, July 17). But it is perplexing to “carefully distinguish” just who it is that Bloomfield “genuinely want[s] to help.”

ESTER ZEITLIN
Jerusalem

Like Woolsey

Sir, – The concluding paragraph of “Spy vs Spy” (Editorial, July 13) informatively reaches the same conclusion as that of ex-CIA director James Woolsey. Woolsey pointed out on January 5, 2012, and again on February 8, 2014, that it is, as your editorial so appropriately and succinctly states, “difficult to escape the impression that Pollard is over-punished only because of his Jewishness.”

Yes. “It is time to end this travesty of justice.”

LEONARD KAHN
Zichron Ya’acov

ANC’s comparisons

Sir, – Regarding “ANC comparison of Israel to Nazis riles S. African Jewry” (July 11), it is enlightening to examine the credentials of our accusers.

It was South Africa, where the ANC is the ruling party, that hosted the Durban conferences. It was in South Africa that the Marikana massacre took place in 2012.

In reference to Israel’s military operations against Hamas, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte says: “We are reminded of the atrocities of Nazi Germany...”

This is appropriate, but Ms. Duarte is applying the comparison to the wrong party.

The facts speak for themselves and show her remarks for what they are: anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism.

GERRY MYERS
Beit Zayit

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