Targeting school buses
Sir, – Last Thursday, an antitank missile hit a school
bus leaving my kibbutz after letting off our children from school (“Boy, 16,
badly hurt as Hamas fires anti-tank missile at school bus,” April 8). If this
rocket had hit about five minutes sooner, a lot more children would have been
hurt or killed. One child, not from my kibbutz, was hurt seriously and my heart
goes out to him and his family.
One day, I fear, one of these rockets
will cause many injuries and deaths.
We in my area live our daily lives
with the fear of rockets falling, and last week a warning was issued about the
possibility of terrorist attacks inside communities that surround Gaza. Even in
the Israeli media, these alerts were not reported. Only when someone is injured
or killed does it get mentioned.
In the world media, it makes the
headlines only if Israel attacks Gaza. Of course, this last attack did make the
news around the world, but you had to know what to look for.
We in Israel
want peace. Do you in the world think we love sending our children and
grandchildren to wars to fight and die? Do you think we love being targeted by
rockets in our daily lives? Do you think we love reading about innocent people
being killed in Gaza? If you do, you have no idea who we are.
thing: If the Arabs would to lay down their weapons and make peace, life would
improve for everyone, Arab and Jew. This area could be one of the leaders in the
world economy. So instead of killing each other, we should be working together
to better our lives and the future of our children.
Sir, – IDF officers said the rocket attack on the school bus “crossed all red
lines” and that Hamas would pay dearly.
The red lines were crossed years
ago, which is why we are today fighting for our legitimacy and survival. Ehud
Barak said “We will not tolerate this attack,” and then finished his sentence
with something unbelievable: “…and expect that Hamas understands what is
permitted and what is forbidden.”
Does this mean we can accept attacks so
long as they are not “deliberate,” that missiles fired randomly into homes are
permitted? Is this what the Jewish people has been reduced to in its own land?
Sir, – It was not so long ago that we who are involved in
road safety battled to have seat belts installed on the yellow buses that take
our kids to school. We thought only about traffic accidents.
week’s horrific attack on a school bus by terrorists from Gaza, the decision we
have to make is how to protect our kids and all the citizens in this country, so
that everyday life does not descend into hell.
There is only one way – a
concerted effort by our government to advance the peace process with those
Palestinians who seek a solution, and let the world see that we are serious. We
will then be able to take the necessary, aggressive steps to put an end to
violence that leads to nowhere but misery for both our peoples.
meantime, there are cries for revenge and another crudely planned attack like
Cast Lead, which resulted in… this.
Do we have any leaders here?
Sir, – The wanton rocket attack on a school bus near Gaza
proves the absurdity of Larry Derfner’s latest column (“Goldstone was never the
problem,” Rattling the Cage, April 7).
Derfner asserts that Operation
Cast Lead was illegitimate because only 28 Israelis had been killed in the years
leading up to the war, compared to 1,250 Gazans. By extension, he would argue
that there is less reason for Israel to respond to this attempted mass murder
because the terrorists failed to kill as many children as they hoped. This makes
The purpose of military response to terrorism is not vengeance
but self-defense through the prevention of future strikes. Proportionality is
determined not by actual damage, but by the enemy’s intent to cause harm and
what is necessary to stop him from achieving his murderous aims.
protect its citizens, Israel must use all available means to degrade Hamas’s
terrorist capabilities and convince the group that it is in its own interest to
end the attacks.
EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Ya’acov Let the journos in
– Regarding “Peres to call on UN to shelve Goldstone Report” (April 7), the IDF
and the Shin Bet contributed to the outcome of the Goldstone Commission – they
prohibited foreign correspondents from accompanying Israeli troops into Gaza
during Cast Lead.
Had the correspondents been able to witness what was
taking place and report it to their media, the truth would have been known and
there would not have been any need for Goldstone. If, God forbid, war breaks out
again, will the same mistake be repeated?
Jerusalem Torah trumped
– I was pleased to see that Maccabi Tel Aviv will not play in the basketball
final on Memorial Day (“Good news for Mac TA visa- vis Final Four, April 7). But
what about the semi-final on Shabbat? Or is a Torah commandment less important
than observing Memorial Day? What have we come to that no one seems bothered
Ra’anana Perfect world
Sir, – Transportation Minister
Yisrael Katz dedicated what might be called a freeway to the Tomb of the
Patriarchs near Hebron (“First phase of NIS 35m. road in Hebron completed,”
April 6). He proclaimed the ancient and unbroken tie between the Jewish people
and its land for more than 3,700 years, emphasizing a
Imagine a different scenario: An Israeli and
Palestinian leader share the same dedication ceremony, honoring “our
forefathers,” both the Jewish Abraham and the Muslim Ibrahim. They’d be
providing all children of Abraham/ Ibrahim access to a place recognized as holy
by both Muslims and Jews, and affirming each other’s deep love of the land and
place, acknowledging that both people are equally, deeply rooted in “our
Imagine there’s a heaven....
Australia Knowing the options
Sir, – Now that Efrat is trying to present
anti-abortion advertisements (“NGO to launch biggestever campaign against
abortions,” April 6), the Israel Women’s Network opposes this.
that more money should be spent on sex education and preventing unwanted
With this I can agree.
However, it says a woman
should be able to make up her own mind as to what should be done when there is
an unwanted pregnancy. It seems to think that making up one’s mind has to be
done without considering options other than abortion.
Rehovot Handful, but not small
Sir, – Ray Hanania (“Mourning a quiet, but
effective, rebel,” Yalla Peace, April 6) attributes the murder of actor-director
Juliano Mer-Khamis to a “small handful of fanatics.”
This small handful
of fanatics is also firing rockets from Gaza into civilian neighborhoods of
Israel daily. This is the same group that murdered Mary Jean Gardner in the
recent Jerusalem bombing, and it sent the killers responsible for the murder of
the Fogel family in Itamar.
Hanania does not address the problem of how
Israel can possibly sign a peace treaty with the Palestinian Authority while
Arab fanatics gun down an Arab-Israeli actor-director in cold blood. Can the
Palestinian people take on the responsibility of a state if they can’t govern