(photo credit: Courtesy)
Helping 'em out
Sir, - I like the idea of Israel giving Gaza a three-hour bombing time-out. That should give Hamas enough leeway to move its rockets into new positions ("Israel launches three-hour-long 'humanitarian cease-fire,'" Online Edition, January 7).
Paramus, NJ & Ra'anana
Sir, - Soon a cease-fire will be forced upon us, and shortly thereafter the rockets will get to Tel Aviv. The Palestinians have never renounced the ideology of our destruction and any truce for them is a temporary Trojan horse. Unless we stand firm, our national demise seems imminent ("Two Grads strike Beersheba; none hurt," Online Edition, January 7).
If there are any "silent" Gazans who want peace as we do, now would be the time for them to vomit up Hamas from their midst.
Sympathy for Gazans...
Sir, - Israel is trying to stop the activities of Hamas once and for all, but in doing that the innocent civilian people are suffering the most. Killing civilians in the name of capturing the terrorists is not at all justified.
Israel must make sure that its fate does not become like the war which it raged against Lebanon before ("Death of innocents," Editorial, January 6).
Sir, - Why does the world weep for the people in Gaza? Has it forgotten how Gazans took to the streets after 9/11, dancing and cheering the deaths of thousands of Americans? Or the hundreds of times Gazans have celebrated with glee the deaths of Israelis, including children, in terrorist attacks?
The people in Gaza feel no compassion when their rockets kill Israeli citizens. Instead it fills them with sickening pride. It's always sad when children are killed, but Gazans don't deserve the world's sympathy. They have brought this situation on themselves by supporting Hamas and filling their children with hate.
Perhaps it's time to rerun the footage of Gazans celebrating the deaths of others as a reminder of what Israel is up against. Ah, but that would defeat the world media's agenda to present Gazans as innocent, helpless victims and Israel as the evil aggressor.
A few questions for Chris Andrews
Sir, - Along with many other Irish citizens, we are appalled that a prominent Irish politician, Chris Andrews TD, has publicly called for "Ireland to expel the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland" (Irish Times January 5). Given that Mr. Andrews agrees every nation has the right of self defense, he might usefully address these key questions:
â€¢ Who started it?
On December 19, Hamas declared it would not renew a six-month cease-fire agreement and stepped up the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel. On Christmas Eve it fired over 50 rockets, and on Christmas Day over 80 rockets and mortars against Israeli civilians.
â€¢ Is Israel's response disproportionate, and what is a proportionate response?
In the last three years Hamas has fired 5,800 rockets and mortars randomly against Israeli civilians. What would be the world's response if Israel fired 5,800 missiles randomly into Gaza?
â€¢ What is needed to end the conflict?
If Israel accepts another cease-fire without destroying Hamas's stockpile of rockets or putting controls in place to prevent new and even longer-range rockets being smuggled into Gaza, it could face a repetition whenever Hamas decided to renew hostilities.
â€¢ What is the reaction of the Arab powers?
No Arab nation would allow a neighbor to fire rockets into its sovereign territory, but would react far more strongly and not be so concerned as Israel to minimize civilian casualties. Many Arab states recognize that Hamas is an agent of Iran. They do not want Iranian power to increase in the Middle East and are secretly pleased that Israel is taking on Hamas.
â€¢ What about the humanitarian situation in Gaza?
Hamas assassinated its opponents. It does not permit other voices in civil society and persecutes the small Christian minority. Israel is allowing daily deliveries of 50-100 truckloads of supplies to Gaza, and has not cut off power supplies from the generating station at Ashkelon even when it is under fire.
â€¢ Is Gaza hopeless?
If the administration of Gaza focused its resources on development rather than on attacking Israel, Gaza could have a brighter future. Perhaps if Mr. Andrews called publicly on Hamas to change its charter, which calls for Israel's destruction, and stop bombing its neighbors, that might contribute to a more speedy cease-fire ("'Shouldn't Israel be ashamed of itself?' Public opinion abroad is worsening as war continues, say ministry officials," January 7).
PADDY AND ANNE MONAGHAN
Co. Dublin, Ireland
Sir, - This time the world's media have been much more evenly balanced, in no small way due to Israel's excellent public relations. The spokespeople are excellent. Here in Ireland, Israel's ambassador has been doing a superb job and gaining much support for Israel.
Sir, - I trust you guys do not think that the British public is taken in by all the rubbish coming from a number of our so-called politicians. They never came out of the woodwork when Hamas was sending the rockets into Israel.
I have not come across one person over here who does not support what your troops are aiming for in Gaza. We hope you achieve your objectives.
By the way, I am not a Jew, so have no axe to grind.
A soldier's view
Sir, - I'm an American soldier in the US Army, serving since 2005. I've been to Afghanistan to fight al-Qaida and the Taliban. Me and a lot of my fellow soldiers were attacked multiple times by vicious and cold-blooded terrorists, who have no sympathy for innocent mankind. I watched Sept. 11 happen on TV when terrorism struck here.
My family and fellow soldiers respect the decisions the leadership of Israel has taken against Hamas. If I wasn't currently serving in the US Army, I would gladly join the Israeli Army to fight the terrorists, who are against all of you.
Sir, - Israel will win the battle but lose the war on world opinion as the rest of the world watches the killing of so many civilians. World media coverage in Gaza has been pictures of dead and wounded children.
The IDF claim they are human shields. The world doesn't buy it. They are victims of the IDF assault on Hamas, trapped in Gaza by Israel's blockade.
The problem is Hamas
Sir, - My family and I emigrated to Israel 14 years ago. When we arrived in 1994, there were continual suicide bombings on buses, in restaurants, hotels etc. This was all due to the Palestinian terrorist organizations. Many Israeli and Israeli Arabs were killed by these suicide bombers - fathers, mothers, sons and daughters - and everyone just kept quiet. Why?
For the last eight years Sderot has been attacked by the Hamas terrorist organization. Six thousand rockets have been fired at Israeli citizens, including women and children. These people have been psychologically damaged, and the rest of the world says we should stop fighting for our families and for the citizens of Israel.
I think we've given Hamas enough warning to stop what they are doing to us. Israel has no problem with the Palestinian people; our problem is with Hamas. All we want is peace, and to live in safety and harmony.
It's time the rest of the world realized that this is a war on Hamas, and not a war on Gaza, and that we are only trying to protect our people ("The incongruity of it all," Michael Freund, January 7).
No solution at all...
Sir, - Re "Solving the 'Palestinian problem'" (January 7): Daniel Pipes's solution is racist - the disappearance of the Palestinian people, or cultural genocide. By calling Palestinians "Egyptian" or "Jordanian" he has, with one stroke of his pen, eliminated an entire culture.
No humane person, in Israel or anywhere, could possibly support such an idea.
...but this could be
Sir, - Splitting the Gaza Strip into two parts is the first step; the second should be to separate the peaceful civilians from their Hamas rulers.
This can be done in several ways: Establish an enclave, a tent city, perhaps on the sea shore, near to the Israel border within the Strip, to which civilians could flee until the storm passes. Israel could easily send humanitarian food supplies, even establish a field hospital.
Alternatively, Israel can build a tent city in the West Bank. No young, able-bodied men should be allowed to enter either enclave. Such a project would help separate the peaceful civilians from their Hamas masters.
Ignoring the obvious
Sir, - Thank you for your coverage of Elior Chen's horrible crime ("Extradition case held up by questions over Israel's jurisdiction," January 1). This case hit home for me; I personally know how those abused children felt, systematically tortured by those who were supposed to love and protect them.
Child abuse happens every day. Yet, somehow, I survived it. What upsets me even more than my beaten, broken, insane childhood is that someone - neighbors, doctors, friends, people in the grocery store - always knows what is going on and does nothing. Why?
And please do not refer to that pig who hides his crimes behind payot as a "rabbi." Not even in quotation marks.
Hats off - and on
Sir, - I was delighted at the Post's giving Barbara Silverman and her wonderful organization the publicity they so richly deserve. Anyone interested in knitting the hats that go into those care packages and sending some warmth to a soldier can download the pattern at hatsforIsraelisoldiers.blogspot.com ('A Package From Home' has entered the fray," January 5).
Hats for Israeli Soldiers