Sir, – A few days ago we heard of the first soldier killed. Then five. Then another 13 and more.
We all pray they will be the last, but we fear not.
Precious, precious souls. Families that will never be the same. I keep thinking about how our leaders make every mistake possible that ensures we come to where we are today.
This is the third bloody time since the expulsion of the 9,000 brave Jewish patriots of Gush Katif that we have asked our finest young men to risk life and limb in Gaza in order to... it really is not very clear anymore. For another period of “relative quiet” until Hamas decides it is time for a fourth round? SHALOM POLLACK Jerusalem
Sir, – As a semi-retired senior marketing strategist I am befuddled how, in a genocidal war to kill all the Jews, Israel provides warnings of impending attacks with cute leaflets. While on the surface it sounds humanitarian, it allows our enemies to relocate with their weapons to set up better defenses and ambushes.
Read the book Arrogant Armies: Great Military Disasters and the Generals Behind Them by James M. Perry. A new chapter is awaiting Israel.
Compassion for the enemy comes after the battle, not during. Our government’s policies are killing our boys.
WILLIAM LEVY Rehovot
Sir, – Has your prime minister being listening too much to a twit from these parts named John Kerry? Too many IDF soldiers have paid with their lives for the stupidity of issuing warnings.
They are invitations to Hamas fighters to set up ambushes.
General warnings to civilians are both humanitarian and operationally sensible. But the “knocks on the roof,” the neighborhood pamphlets and local telephone calls provide Hamas with valuable tactical intelligence about imminent actions. They endanger IDF soldiers. They are lunacy or worse.
Enough of such nonsense. Surprise is one of the oldest but most important elements of successful fighting. The IDF will pay heavily if this is forgotten.
PETER SAMUEL Frederick, Maryland
Sir, – Why did the government wait this long to deal with the Gaza tunnels? Weren’t they being monitored 24/7? Is this a case of gross negligence? STUART PILICHOWSKI Mevaseret Zion Sir, – War in a densely populated, maze-like city? Of course there will be civilian casualties! Many! Mostly children, women and old people who cannot dance around bombs and bullets fast enough. We’re stupid to expect anything else, no matter how accurate the weapons.
Are we so obtuse as to expect people to do nothing when barrage after barrage after barrage of rockets are lobbed indiscriminately into civilian areas? Of course there will be a violent response! Hamas’s Covenant (1988) calls for Israel’s destruction. Israeli MKs call for the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel and the West Bank and even for their murder. Israel pays rabbis who legitimize the killing of Muslims.
Hamas labels as “martyrs” those who kill Jews. When will it stop? Hamas’s and Israel’s terrible mutual hatred are so all-consuming that each is destroying the future of its children in repeatedly futile attempts to destroy the other. Our choice is to emulate Israelis and Palestinians who together cry “Enough is enough!” To mourn their lost children as we mourn ours. To build a path of hope for each other as we demand for ourselves.
Or to prepare for hundreds more deaths of innocents every few years.
JUDY BAMBERGER O’Connor, Australia
Sir, – Toward the end of the war the Nazis forced teenagers to enlist in the Hitler Jugend to bear arms as part of the final, desperate attempt to halt the Allies. But not even the Nazi beasts thought of using women, small children and babies as human shields while they themselves cowered in fortified bunkers.
LOUIS GARB Jerusalem
Sir, – The White House says Israel needs to do more to ensure that civilians are protected.
Thank you, Mr. White House.
Israel is doing all it can to ensure its civilians are protected.
LOIS GREEN Kadima
Sir, – Let’s talk proportionality.
On August 6, 1945, the US dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing over 80,000 people on impact and ultimately over 150,000. This bomb was known as “Little Boy.” While the Japanese were setting Olympic sprint records trying to surrender, Washington felt it had to see the efficacy of another model of the bomb called “Fat Man,” and so dropped this model on Nagasaki, killing another 100,000 or so. To this day it is not clear which bomb was deadlier.
As for Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister of Britain (“Clegg blasts Israel’s air strikes on Gaza,” July 18), I have one word: Dresden.
LEN DREYER Ra’anana
Sir, – We see many pictures of suffering Gaza civilians for which we are deemed responsible. Why not show positive pictures of the convoys taking medicines, fuel and supplies to Gaza? Why not an article about the electricity we supply and pictures showing the electrical pylons Hamas has destroyed? Why not pictures showing our compassion for Gazans coming over the border for medical aid? Let’s have pictures and articles about our humanity.
MOTTLE GOODBAUM Jerusalem
Sir, – It was very gratifying to read that haredi leaders have instructed their flocks to intensify their prayers for the well-being of our soldiers (“Haredi leaders: Pray for the safety of our soldiers,” July 21). However, it would have been more gratifying if they had referred them to that portion of the Torah that commands all Jews over the age of 20 to report for army service.
They also should have pointed out that when the tribes of Reuven and Gad were allowed to settle on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, they first had to take up arms to help establish the state on the western bank.
Haredim do not say the prayer for the state because it was not founded by the Messiah. They do not send their children to the army for the same reason. But who is to say that the State of Israel is not a messianic state? As we look around and see all our enemies crumbling and the great influx of Jews from all parts of the world either from ideology or as an escape from anti-Semitism, there is plenty of evidence to suspect that this is our messianic state. I challenge them to say it is not! I think it is time for the haredim to help protect our people. Perhaps then their urgent prayers on our behalf will be answered.
EDWIN HOFFENBERG Haifa
Sir, – Your July 20 editorial “Problems in Paris” aptly touches on the readiness of large segments of the international community to excuse the rampant surge of anti-Semitism as an expression of protest against the defense policies of the Jewish state, a phenomenon, as you note, fueled by the sad reality that the “Arab war against Israel often is a war against all Jews everywhere.”
Perhaps those imbued with a sense of decency who nevertheless remain silent as Jews are attacked around the world simply because they are Jewish will recognize the veracity of my “Ode of the Modern Jewish Hater,” published in the Post almost three years ago: We’re glad there is a Jewish State On which to vent the ancient hate.
A place that justifies the ruse: We like the Jew but not the Jews.
JACK E. FRIEDMAN Jerusalem