(photo credit: Courtesy)
Land for peace? Ha-ha
Sir, - Saturday's events stamped "Expired" on the policy pursued by Israel these many years ("IDF ground forces sweep into northern Gaza, confront Hamas military wing," (January 4).
"Land for peace" has proven not just bankrupt, but ruinous, twice - the first time when we abandoned southern Lebanon to Hizbullah terrorists; and the second when we abandoned the Gaza Strip to Hamas terrorists, both "in the cause of peace."
In 2006, Hizbullah in Lebanon went on to claim the lives of 135 Israeli soldiers and civilians. Today, we are compelled to risk the lives of more soldiers and civilians in a war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip ("IDF soldier dies of wounds sustained in Gaza mortar fire," Online Edition, January 4).
Don't hang back
Sir, - Hang a flag on your car if your son, husband, father, brother, neighbor or friend is in the army; if you are proud to be an Israeli. Come out of the cupboard: Declare that you are a Zionist.
Short on truthfulness
Sir, - The ostensibly moralistic "Arab citizens are not a fifth column" (Mohammad Darawshe and Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu, January 4) struck me as the opposite of both truth and morality. The authors themselves, co-executive directors of the Abraham Fund, themselves appear to be short of these traits, showing no concern whatsoever for the survival of the world's only Jewish state and its citizens in the south under daily attack by murderous Palestinians.
This pseudo-liberal op-ed justified leftist Israeli and Palestinian angry, hate-filled demonstrations against Israel and the IDF for doing the great mitzva of responding to Hamas and its terrorist supporters, our sworn, violent enemies.
The "victimized" Arabs of Gaza freely chose and supported Hamas, whose clear platform was the destruction of Israel; they are now reaping the fruit of that decision. May the IDF, with God's help, do what is necessary to remove this evil threat from our midst.
Sir, - Isn't anyone in the PR department going to read the Hamas manifesto and publicize the map of Hamas's "Palestine"? Only when Jews fight terrorists is it "unfair" to the terrorists.
Sir, - Critics might argue that if a Palestinian state was declared in the West Bank, Hamas would simply unilaterally declare its own state in the Gaza Strip. However, it would not do so: An independent state in Gaza's narrow coastal strip would be unsustainable, unmanageable, and frankly unrealistic.
As we have learned time and again, there are limits to the security that can be provided by military means. Unlike the conventional options for dealing with Hamas already espoused, this solution is no quick fix. It will not give sudden peace of mind to the mothers of Sderot nor provide immediate respite to the failing businesses of southern Israel. And yet it is the only viable long-term solution to the problem which Hamas presents to Israel.
If it is to be achieved in 2009, the Israeli public must go to the polls on February 10 and vote in a government that will have the courage to make real and meaningful steps toward peace.
For Hamas, a movement to whom non-compromise with Israel is sacrosanct, the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and the benefits this would undoubtedly entail for both sides would surely represent the ultimate knockout blow ("Palestinian attacks continue as 40 rockets strike Israeli targets," January 4).
ADAM ALEXANDER SALKIN
Hey, it's the 21st century
Sir, - Further to "Freedom's not just another word" (Ruthie Blum Leibowitz, January 2): Why Israel does not have a 24-hour satellite station broadcasting direct news from Israel to the world completely baffles me. Besides the networks that show just the "poor Palestinians" who started this war in the first place by their continual firing of rockets into Israeli towns and cities, we would be able to show exactly what is going on here, the damage the rockets are causing and the trauma our children and their parents are experiencing.
Let's move into the 21st century. If Al Jazeera can, so can we.
Is God angry with us?
Sir, - As we enter 2009, we are still embattled with our enemies and facing daily threats. I think we should send out this message worldwide: God must be very angry with us! He created the world with love. It was not meant for acts of terrorism, murder and the propagation of hatred.
There are no separate gods for different nations. Only one God, Who gave us and all mankind the Ten Commandments. If only we chose to live by them.
Sir, - I would like to apologize on behalf of all Britons for the offense caused to Israelis by Channel 4's hosting of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's "alternative" Christmas message. Very few people here supported this and everyone I have spoken to about it has shown utter disgust. His words are not ours, and his actions do not have our support ("UK government rebukes Ahmadinejad's speech," December 25).
I am well aware that the British media often behave shamefully toward Israel, and this has not gone unnoticed. As a student of documentary photography, I have it in mind to work in a field that will allow me to display the true nature of world events.
It was the attitude of the British press that led me to make this decision and where there is one, surely there will be others. So who knows, maybe one day we will see a change in our newspapers and broadcasts.
Sir, - Parts of Ahmadinejad's Channel 4 Christmas message read: "If Christ was on earth today, undoubtedly he would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over."
I would answer that if Christ were on earth today, he would undoubtedly be livid with the Iranian tyrant for his intention to wipe out Christ's birthplace and the people of Israel.
Sir, - I should like to draw attention to the fact that when the BBC announced the demise of the great Nobel prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter, they just forgot to mention that he was Jewish ("Playwright Harold Pinter buried," January 4).
A blessing, possibly
Sir, - Stuart Weiss's "The bear-market blessing" (December 2) was certainly something to take to heart for all of us who give charity. Do we really know where our money is going, and are we sure the full amount is going where it needs to?
We are all in shock now. Let us make some good come out of it by taking care to see that the recipients of our tzedaka receive their due.
It will be tough going for a while, but, as Rabbi Weiss says, it may be a blessing in disguise.