Sir, – With regard to “Hamas fast rebuilding forces in Gaza” (February 4), why are we destined not only to continue to make the same mistakes, but to allow them to become more and more costly? Here are but several examples from many.
In 2006, we were pressured into signing a UN-brokered cease-fire (Security Council Resolution 1701). Yet Hezbollah went ahead and violated at least one key component by increasing by several orders of magnitude its deadly rocket stockpile. The only response from Israel has been occasional air force sorties against the supply lines from Syria. There has been nothing but a deafening silence from the sponsors of the resolution.
Now we read a report by reputable Israeli analysts of Hamas’s successful program of rebuilding its military capability, thereby violating the essence of the cease-fire reached last summer.
Where are the brokers of the cease-fire (other than Egypt,) and what is Israel doing to preempt the (inevitable) next outbreak of hostilities? If we persist in responding to real threats from our sworn enemies only by improving our ability to wage war, then another ultimately and painful war will be waged, and once again we will suffer needless casualties, international condemnation and worse.
Why are we unable to mount an effective public diplomacy initiative that repeats and repeats forcefully the facts of the situation? Those facts include the culpability of our enemies and the need to hold the EU, US, UN and other seekers of peace accountable for not living up to their promises regarding the agreements they imposed on us. Why not insist that if they do not act effectively, Israel will be obliged to do it through increasingly painful boycotts, preemptive strikes and other tools available to us?HARVEY LITHWICK
Sir, – The United Nations is trying to intimidate Israel by finding ways to punish it for defending itself against Hamas without punishing Hamas.
The UN’s attitude toward the Arab-Israeli conflict forces Israel to stop fighting before it can finish the job of destroying Hamas each time the Islamists start a war. Even though Gazans need peace and the restoration of their infrastructure, and not more war, the UN is indifferent to Hamas when it diverts Gaza’s limited resources, both in material and manpower.
We see that with the UN’s blessings, Hamas is preparing for the next Gaza war, the result of which will be either more suffering for Gazans and more efforts by the UN to punish Israel for killing Arabs, or all that plus the final destruction of Israel.BARRY WERNER
Sir, – Laughter, they say, is the best medicine. I have had my fair dose lately, thanks to The Jerusalem Post (“Shapira to publish report on ‘Bottlegate’ allegations,” February 3).
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposes to take a trip to the US to remind the world of the continued Iranian threat, along comes the antidote – depositing his empty bottles on the public doorstep.
To endeavor to destabilize Israel’s safety with empties takes some bottles – many more than possible under the prime minister’s beverage allowance.LEONARD BOOK
Sir, – I did some investigating of my own into “Bottlegate” and don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I counted 30 paces from the Prime Minister’s Residence to the nearest recycling station.DANIEL ABELMAN
Sir, – One major tactic used in an election is to criticize opposing parties. It is believed that if you can make the competition look bad, your party will seem the better choice, so it behooves a party to choose the worst offenses it can drag up in order to highlight its own superiority.
It seems to me that the Left-leaning parties and media are actually paying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a great compliment. If the worst they can come up with is perceived (and as yet unproven) irregularities in his household, it would seem they have no real complaints about the serious issues of state he must deal with on a daily basis.
Maybe members of these parties should consider voting for him.DEENA SPIGELMAN
Sir, – Manny Naftali, Emmanuel Sela, Guy Eliahu and others who have been in the employ of the Prime Minister’s Residence should grow up and stop acting like sniveling babies (“In wake of new reports, prime minister attacks media for stories on wife: Leave my family alone,” January 27).
Sara Netanyahu had every right to want soup at midnight, and Eliyahu had the right to refuse. We’re talking basic rights. This is a democracy, no “off with their heads.”
There is a lot of prestige in working for the “first family.” The paycheck is good, benefits are great and when problems arise, overseers have a choice: Either deal with the situation and resolve it or hand in your resignation.
Put up or shut up. That’s what grown ups do. That’s Business 101. Only babies run crying to mama (in this case the Jerusalem Labor court and the media) for comfort and a change.JULIE FREEDMAN
Sir, – I read that in an effort to gain votes from Americans living in Israel, Yair Lapid has been pulling out all the stops, including a Super Bowl party and trying to make political gains by blaming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the hostility of US President Barack Obama (“Israeli football fans tackle Super Bowl with kosher wings and politics,” February 3).
First of all, Netanyahu didn’t invite himself to speak before Congress in March. It was the Republican congressional leadership that invited him. The vast majority of members of Congress – mostly Republicans, but also Democrats who think for themselves and are oblivious to dictates – welcome the fact that a world leader will be able to state the facts regarding the Iranian threat.
Most Americans living in Israel won’t buy into Lapid’s rhetoric, or for that matter the mud slinging of the Labor party.KAREN LEE
Boynton Beach, Florida
Most obvious fact
Sir, – It is unfortunate that in an otherwise excellent article (“Europeans debate Islam and terror,” Comment & Features, February 3), the author, when discussing examples of cultural roots for patterns of behavior, ignores (I assume in the interest of political correctness) the most obvious with respect to his argument. That is the fact that “a key root of anti-Semitism is the Catholic Church, but that does not mean that all Catholics are anti-Semites.”MARTIN GERSTEL
Sir, – In every conflict, each side is convinced it is right. Yet the truth lies in the center. Having endured centuries of persecution, many Jews decided that to be safe, they would need to return to their ancient homeland and become tough.
The horrors of the Holocaust reinforced this. Conflict with the Arabs was unintended. Yet almost all Arabs opposed the influx of Jews into what they also considered their land. Israel survived the resulting war, but its need to be tough was reinforced.
This is not an attitude conducive to peace. Nor is the belief in revenge. So we have a tit-fortat war, with neither side benefiting.
Here in South Africa, Nelson Mandela recognized that most white people had been driven to hatred by fear of the black majority. By showing that he was not a threat, he was able to gracefully defuse the conflict.MARTIN ZAGNOEV
Priority is given to letters that are brief and topical, and which bear the writer’s name and place of residence, as well as the name and date of the Post item being referred to. They may also be edited and shortened.