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Sir, - Re "'Shouldn't Israel be ashamed of itself?'" (January 7): No. Israel should be proud of itself. If the UN, the Guardian, and 80 percent of Europe want to blame Israel for defending its citizens, let them. They're going to hate you no matter what you do, and especially if you hit back. You're in a fight in which any time you have the audacity to punch the other guy, the audience gasps in horror. So forget the audience and win the fight.
If Israel is going to have the mood of Ireland or Spain dictate its security decisions, you are in profound trouble.
Sir, - MJ Rosenberg's "Weren't there other ways to induce Hamas to stop the shelling?" (January 6) was a classic example of invention of facts to fit the hypothesis.
"Palestinian statelessness is at the root of the problem," he said, ignoring that in 1947 the Arabs (there were no Palestinians then) were offered such a state; and re-offered it with Oslo, and again by then premier Ehud Barak, each time rejecting it because they rejected any Jewish state in the Middle East.
He claimed the thaw in relations between Israel and various countries in the early 1990s was due to the "peace process," when it was due to the realignment of the world order after the fall of the Soviet Union. If the "peace process" was the key, Israel should have been further rewarded for its withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza. In fact, they resulted in two further wars.
Rosenberg legitimizes a double standard for Israel and Hamas while ignoring that Hamas governs Gaza. If it is a government, then it and those who elected it are responsible for everything that happens within its jurisdiction; and if it is not a government, it is not entitled to the protections of the rules of war and should be treated as a terrorist organization. Any unbiased observer would agree that Israel's armed forces are the most careful and compassionate in the world.
Rosenberg invokes Israeli "crazies," saying it is impossible to form a government without them. Let him identify those "crazies" in the present government. To also imply equivalence between a lunatic fringe in Israel and a majority of Palestinians who elected a Hamas government bent upon the destruction of Israel is obscene.
For Hamas, and most Arabs, it is a zero sum game. After all Israel's wars, after Khartoum, Oslo, Lebanon and Gaza, it is beyond belief that people can cling to disproven paradigms and continue to spout their mantras as gospel.
You tell me
Sir, - Re "Roseanne Barr: Israel is a Nazi state" (January 2): Which other people in the world would treat the enemy's wounded children in its hospitals, or allow trucks filled with tons of essential supplies to pass through its crossings while being pounded with scores of missiles a day? Not the Nazis, certainly.
Sir, - In "From pumps to plugs" (December 19) David Horovitz said the electric car is a non-polluter with zero CO2 emissions. It should be pointed out that any kind of car is a consumer of power.
The factor that determines the CO2 emissions is the producer of power, which in the case of the electric car has been moved - to the power station. The only way of reducing the CO2 is at the power plant, so it would be interesting to know how many hectares of solar generators would be required for a significant reduction in oil consumption.
Sorry, but electric cars alone will not help the net emissions.