(photo credit: Courtesy)
Get that boy back
Sir, - It's always the old that send the young to die, and it's so easy to speak from so far away. But... if Hamas continues to fire rockets after the cease-fire, go back. Go back as many times as necessary, and bring that young boy home to his parents ("IDF sets response formula for future Hamas attacks," January 19).
Pompano Beach, Florida
Sir, - It seems immoral to keep sending humanitarian aid to Gaza without demanding the release of Gilad Schalit.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Sir, - How about this message: "Humanitarian aid in only when Gilad Schalit is out."
Sir, - The unilateral cease-fire by Israel, now accepted reluctantly by Hamas, appears to be the classic example where Israel wins the battle but loses the war. Hamas, while defeated, demands that all Israeli troops be removed from Gaza and that the borders be opened (for further smuggling of weapons), implying that it can continue "resisting the occupation."
This cease-fire is a phoney bargain that Israel will regret ("As fragile truce takes effect, EU leaders commit to curb flow of arms into Gaza," January 19).
Silver Spring, Maryland
Fire vs desire
Sir, - In "It takes two to cease fire" (January 19) Daoud Kuttab outdid even himself. Twice he stated that Israel started the war in Gaza. Where has he been over the eight years we've been absorbing constant terror, hiding from the barrage of rockets aimed at our innocent civilians?
Kuttab does, however, make one near-correct statement: "Without a partner on the Arab side, neutral monitors and a robust political process, this cease-fire will not last very long." I say "near-correct" because unless there is a real desire on that partner's side equal to Israel's desire for peace, no political process, no matter how robust, will achieve anything.
Sir, - We all want peace, but, as the German saying goes, "Es kann der Beste nicht in Frieden leben, wenn es dem boesen Nachbar nicht gefaellt" (The best man cannot live in peace if the bad neighbor does not agree).
Stay the course
Sir, - I am a Christian American who believes Israel is totally justified in its action against Hamas. To underline this sentiment, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Worcester Telegram, and it was cited as Letter of the Week. I also attended a support Israel rally at the Worcester Synagogue.
Stay the course. Peace should be accorded on your terms.
Sauce for the goose
Sir, - What gives Turkey's prime minister the right to ask for Israel to be barred from the UN?
This is from The New York Times of December 17, 2007: "'We as the government are determined to use all political, geopolitical and military vehicles against the separatist terror organization in the most effective way,' Mr. Erdogan said Sunday on Turkish television."
Does that mean it is OK for the Turks to bomb Kurds in Iraq when their security is threatened, but not OK for other governments to defend themselves when they are threatened?
Erdogan should be brought to task over this hypocrisy ("Turkish PM wants Israel barred from UN," January 18).
Sir, - I wish to express shock and dismay at your support of the Central Election Committee's disqualification of the Balad and Ra'am-Ta'al (United Arab List) parties ("What a democracy owes itself," January 14). The committee's attempt to prevent the representation of elected officials from a national minority group in the Knesset constitutes a severe blow to Israeli democracy.
It's clear that the disqualification of these parties will not be approved by the court. Yet, the trend toward silencing opposition voices and violating the right to vote and be elected inherent in the decision is liable to have disastrous implications for the viability of Israel's parliamentary system.
I strongly disagree with your delegitimation of Balad and Ra'am-Ta'al because of their anti-Zionist views. They should be allowed to run for election to the Knesset, along with other parties.
Chief Legal Counsel Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
...or quelling rebellion?
Sir - Ahmed Tibi is on record as saying that the Jewish character of the State of Israel must be abolished. At times, Azmi Bishara, Jamal Zahalka and Wasal Taha have urged Hizbullah's Hassan Nasrallah to fight, voiced solidarity with Syria and supported kidnapping Israeli soldiers.
A September 12, 2006 Post editorial entitled "Enforce the law" stated: "A country's legal code is the glue which keeps its social fabric from fraying and tearing. When the code is contravened, the country's resolve to uphold its sovereignty is tested. If it fails to implement its laws, it loses authority."
Former MK Amnon Rubinstein remarked in an interview with Israel Radio: "I don't think there is any parliament in the world that would agree to its members supporting those who are rebelling against the country they represent."
Japan youth on the war
Sir, - I am a teacher at the Seiai high school in Japan. Here are the opinions of some of my students about the Palestine Conflict:
T. Narita: I'm against it. I don't want them to resort to arms to solve the problem. We must consult each other for peace. Second, a lot of average people were killed in the war. Nobody has a right to rob people of their lives.
Y. Funamizu: The news that 300 Palestinian children have been killed made me very sad. Children are not related to the war. War robs children of their future. If Israelis and Palestinians knew this, they could refuse to continue the war. Stop the war, and make peace. It is a common desire throughout the world.
Y. Tanaka: When we watch the news about the war between Palestine and Israel, we become sad. I am against the war, because many people are killed. We are learning about past wars in world history. But we don't know the wars in the present times, so I think that the war is scary.
Palestinian children and Israeli children share this feeling. Accordingly, I hope Palestine and Israel will make peace.
Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan
To raise carnations
Sir, - Many years ago I came upon this text, the writer of which I do not know:
"O Lord, remind us that tanks and planes are not the true salvation of our People. Show us the meaning of the scrolls and manuscripts that we may sit in all mankind's fraternity, together, in the city named for peace.
"We are chosen, but weary of the tear-soaked pages of our history. We ask nothing of you, Lord, but opportunities to raise carnations in the Negev and a crop of cinnamon in Galilee."