letters to the editor 88.
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Sir, - Israel, it's about time you started to cut the head off Goliath. Don't stop until you are finished ("50 miles from Beirut, 'we are in charge of the sea,'" July 19).
Shame on you
Sir, - I lived in Beirut from 1998 to 2004. I worked at an International School in Lebanon and witnessed the great progress Lebanon had made after being ravaged by civil war. Its rebirth seemed nearly complete until less than two weeks ago. Now I watch with sadness and horror as Israeli jets and artillery pound innocent Lebanese to death.
I deplore the actions of Hizbullah; you are right, Israel - something must be done. But tell me why Lebanese citizens must pay the price? I ask you where is the moral high ground, and how do you get there?
Is it in the guise of terror - and what is terror, anyway? Do you use this franchised term now because it is a catchphrase that allows "Western democracies" to initiate preemptive destruction?
Lebanon: 290 dead - Israel: 29. Shame on you, Israel ("IDF to continue precision ground incursions," July 20).
Christchurch, New Zealand
Sir, - I wanted to tell you that I am proud of what you are doing in Lebanon. I know that some innocent people are caught in the middle, but that is the price you pay when you allow thugs to share your backyard together with law-abiding people.
It is amazing that all was good with the UN when rockets were falling only in Israel. My, how it gets the whole world's attention when they start falling outside Israel's borders.
Lebanon's government could not do in two years what you can get done in two weeks.
Irish friends say...
Sir, - We write to express our support for Israel, whose military operations in Lebanon are a response to an unprovoked border attack by Hizbullah. Israel is exercising her legitimate right to self-defense. Israeli air strikes on Lebanon are not intended to kill civilians, unlike the hundreds of Hizbullah missiles. However, many of Hizbullah's missile launch sites are deliberately located near residential areas, whereas Israel has dropped leaflets warning civilians to stay away from Hizbullah strongholds.
The timing of the Hizbullah operation seems no coincidence, occurring just prior to the G8 summit in St. Petersburg. The G8 was expected to concentrate heavily on Iran's refusal to comply with demands to curtail its nuclear program. There also appears to have been a deliberate strategy to open up a second front against Israel in the north.
Iranian fingerprints are to be found on the current conflict. The Katyusha missiles currently raining down on Israel's north are supplied by Iran.
When Egypt and Jordan recognized Israel peace treaties were signed; both Syria and Iran are committed to wiping Israel off the map. Israel has no option but to fight for its existence.
Accordingly we would urge our government to deal with the root cause of this conflict and pressure Syria and Iran to recognize the State of Israel.
As Christians from various churches in Ireland we ask you to join us in praying for the families of all the victims, Jewish and Arab, and for a speedy resolution of the conflict.
PADDY MONAGHAN, Secretary
Irish Christian Friends of Israel
...knock 'em out
Sir, - All I can say is, blast away at every terrorist. The only way a terrorist and a bully knows when to take notice is when he receives the knockout punch. I think we here need to take a page out of your playbook when it comes to stronger fighting for what we believe in.
Sir, - I call them Hizbullies. Only a bully and a coward would hide behind innocents.
Sir, - The current actions of Israel in Lebanon are beyond understanding! All this over the capture of a couple of people, in a region notorious for kidnapping, killing and mayhem? Your country is endangering the lives of thousands, all over some really, really stupid beliefs. What is wrong with you people?
Sir, - We are young people who humbly turn to Israel, its government and its people: We are ready to take part in the noble mission of your army and prepared to give our lives for the people of Israel. It is necessary to fight Hamas, and we are ready to take part in the operation.
If you estimate that you need us, we are at your entire disposal. Receive our sincere support in your combat with the devil.
We'll leave our VAT
Sir, - As tourists here in Israel during these especially troubled times we feel the need to help support the State of Israel. Although we give donations year round to our usual Israeli charities, we have decided one small additional way we can help: We will not be collecting our VAT refund upon departing.
Should every tourist leaving Israel do the same, the money would stay with and help the State of Israel.
HILLEL & MYRA AVERS HILTON
Who's fighting for us?
Sir, - In "When the army saves the government" (July 20), Uri Dan wrote: "Some of those politicians sowing illusions actually believed their own fantasies." There is no greater example of this than Dan's good friend Ariel Sharon.
The Arabs saw the "disengagement" as a weakness resulting from our retreat from Lebanon by Ehud Barak, Yossi Beilin and the Four Mothers.
Hizbullah saw Hamas successful in violating Israeli sovereignty, attacking an IDF post and kidnapping a soldier, not to mention sending rockets into Israeli cities and settlements, without any serious response. So it did exactly the same in the north.
As for the army saving the government, what did such great generals as Yitzhak Rabin, Barak and Sharon learn from their army service when they became politicians? Nothing. They all became appeasers of terrorists.
And who is actually fighting for our nation and saving the people and State of Israel? It's neither the politicians nor the army, but God Himself.
Praise the Lord and pass the ammo
Sir, - Hine lo yanum velo yishan shomer Yisrael. How can we slumber or sleep, we guardians of Israel? Riva rivenu, we ask Him to fight our battles, although we admit they are our battles.
We say ad matai - how long will it be so? And He answers: How long will you rouse me to fight your fight? Sure, I said: natati lachem et ha'aretz - I gave you the land - but you have to take it, and disinherit those who don't want you to have it.
I gave you life, but you have to breathe. I gave you a mind, but you have to use it. Ma'asecha yekorvuicha, uma'asecha yerachakucha - your actions will bring you close to your goal, or they will distance you from it.
God will do His part, or stand by on the sidelines, as he has stood by before. His part is to make sure we do our part. So praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, the guns and the bullets, the planes and the ships that will let Jews live, and sing: Am Yisrael Hai - the people of Israel lives - and Gadol Eloheinu - our God is great.
How many handouts?
Sir, - Re Naomi L. Nakao's letter ("Sputtering light") in your July 19 edition: When Israel departed from Gaza less than a year ago it left behind large areas of hothouses for vegetables, paid for mainly by the Jews of the United States. None of this now remains, due to Palestinian plundering.
How many more free handouts does Ms. Nakao think the Palestinians should receive?
Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra
Sir, - I find Herb Keinon's articles interesting, and "Nazareth attack may bring threat home to Christian world" (July 20) was no exception. After citing the incident at the Church of the Nativity (=birth) in Bethlehem back in 2002, he goes on to call Nazareth the city of Jesus' birth.
He got it right the first time.
Efficiency & love
Sir, - Judy Siegel-Itzkovich's "The giving tree" (UpFront, July 7) about Yad Sarah, the country's leading volunteer organization, gave proper recognition to an important institution.
When Yad Sarah was founded its primary purpose was to loan out medical equipment and devices to enable patients to be treated at home, or deal with accidents. In the 30 years since then Yad Sarah has grown and diversified, and now provides services in many other areas.
I think it is important for your readers to know of another area in which Yad Sarah is involved: the Family Services Unit. These devoted professionals work with those who have been involved in domestic abuse by providing the needed therapy to help them develop self-awareness and learn to take proper responsibility for their actions and their lives. The unit works with men and women of all sectors, and it provides support and help to adults and children.
Yashar koach to this unique organization, and may the volunteers and professionals at Yad Sarah continue to give loving care and help, with efficiency, humanity and dedication.
Sir, - Being a frequent visitor to Israel I am familiar with Yad Sarah and the wonderful work it does. Judy Siegel-Itzkovich comments that in the United States people have to pay for needed medical equipment. This is true if one goes to any of the many commercial medical supply houses.
Here in Denver we have an organization called The Assistance League of Denver, a branch of the Junior League. People can borrow, free of any charge, any medical supplies they might need.
A year ago my husband had knee replacement surgery. We were able to borrow a wheelchair. Although there was no charge, we sent a donation.