letters to the editor 88.
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What about us?
Sir, - Shame on the UN and the international community. Why are the ones on the Lebanese side of the war the only ones who deserve their aid? What about all the innocent Israelis who have been forced to leave their homes to escape Hizbullah's rockets? What about those who have lost their source of income? The cities, towns and villages of northern Israel that have been devastated by Hizbullah also need help and support. ("A few factories in the North are open," July 27).
Sir, - The humanitarian crisis in Lebanon is self inflicted ("Staying sane in Beirut - with yoga and manicures," July 27). Over the years Israel has prepared its citizens for conflict by providing gas masks and bomb shelters. These efforts, at a great cost to the economy, have saved lives and prevented hundreds, if not thousands, of injuries. Lebanon, on the other hand, allowed terrorists to fire rockets into Israel and made no preparations for the expected response of a nation under attack. This speaks volumes about the difference in the value that these nations place on the safety of their citizenry.
JOHN RANDALL PEACHER
Martinsburg, West Virginia
As you sow...
Sir, - Israel has invaded Lebanon and killed hundreds of citizens, as well as attacked UN observers. You look like a nation of murderers. As you sow, your children will reap. I feel very sorry for your violent future. You have displaced at least half a million people, and I can now see why Hizbullah has growing support.
Sir, - If Osama bin Laden were to capture two Americans and the US knew his whereabouts, do you think it would stop at half measures and negotiate a cease-fire with him? ("Israel may be pressed to end war by Thursday," July 30).
Sir, - I'm concerned Israel is going to lose too many soldiers, and I hope that more armaments will be used ("Now is the time for a better use of air power," July 27). Overwhelming force is necessary to deter future attacks. Many thanks for doing the heavy lifting.
M. SCOTT HORN
Too heavy a price
Sir, - I simply do not understand the current military operations, especially the situation at Bint Jbail ("Cabinet rejects IDF call to expand war. Ministers endorse call-up of reservists but won't widen ground offensive," July 28). Why wasn't this Hizbullah stronghold flattened by intensive air attacks prior to sending in IDF ground troops? The desire to minimize civilian casualties is laudable, but not at the cost of the lives of Israeli soldiers. Civilians had been given ample warning to leave - those who stayed have no one but themselves to blame. For heaven's sake, level the town now before more lDF lives are lost.
Sir, - Israel is paying a high price for neglecting Hizbullah's weapons cache. The ground war should have begun sooner and more aggressively. Troops should move as far north as necessary to eradicate terror, lest Israel make the same mistake that the US is making in Iraq - waging war on terrorists but disregarding those who aid and abet them.
Coconut Creek, Florida
Sir, - Israel is doing it again - sending our boys house to house rather than carpetbombing Hizbullah strongholds. As your editorial ("Missing medals," July 30) points out, the IDF is sacrificing soldiers for a world opinion that will always demonize Israel, no matter what it does.
Israel, please take your gloves off. Protect your own soldiers and civilians, and worry less about the "innocent" Lebanese who enable Hizbullah.
Sir, - The government is failing the Israeli public, especially its soldiers. Using troops to clean out Hizbullah strongholds only plays into the enemy's hands. Instead, the government should be bombing these strongholds regardless of the Lebanese human cost. Why should their lives be of more value than ours? Southern Lebanon should be cleared of any spot that can hide Hizbullah fighters and weaponry.
Ending the abuse
In "A man of stony stubbornness," (July 28), Shmuley Boteach told an abused woman, "There is nothing you can do to stop his abuse except to show him that you will not tolerate it. The one who has to change is him, not you."
Having been there myself, I know that in order to show her abuser that she will not tolerate abuse anymore, a woman does have to change. Finding (or regaining) the strength to stand up for herself is a change - a big one.
Israel, too, has been abused for years. She now needs to be strong and say that she will never again tolerate abuse. Doing nothing can be very dangerous.
Far Rockaway, NY
Just say no
Sir, - I cannot believe what I just read regarding US pressure on Israel to withdraw from the Shaba Farms area ("US wants Israel to negotiate with Syria over Mount Dov," July 27). If we force Israel to turn Shaba Farms over to the Lebanese, it will be a victory for Syria and Hizbullah. The Israelis should not allow themselves to be intimidated by this unfair request.
Boynton Beach, Florida
Sir, - I am appalled that the Olmert government is only seeking a 1 mile security strip in Southern Lebanon. There should be no cease-fire until Hizbullah is wiped out of Lebanon. ("US aims to present Lebanon truce on Wednesday," July 30).
Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey
Olim as peacekeepers
Sir, - Israel should never have left Lebanon. Pulling our boys out in the middle of the night only emboldened the enemy, which is now deeply entrenched within bunkers or behind human shields ("After Hizbullah," July 25). In a few weeks, we shall be back to square one, in control of Southern Lebanon up to the Litani river.
The irony is that the very territory we are recapturing is the biblical homeland of the tribes of Naphtali and Asher. From that perspective, I would like to suggest the perfect multinational force to occupy this area: a contingent of olim from all corners of the globe. Those are the only peacekeepers we can trust, and their presence would send the most effective message to our enemies: if you want our land, use it for peaceful purposes only, or lose it forever.
Chairman, Likud-Herut UK
Support from Virginia
Sir, - On behalf of my family in the United States, we support you in your fight against the terrorists of Lebanon. We are sorry that the US is not doing more to help you. We will continue to pray for your success and for the complete destruction of Hizbullah.
BRUCE C. SWAFFIELD
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Sir, - I think Steven Windmueller missed an important point in "Where do US Jews stand in this crisis facing Israel?" (July 26). The growing number of mixed marriages in the United States is leaving children without religious identities. Birthright israel does a superb job of explaining the importance of marrying a Jew and maintaining a Jewish identity - without which, support for Israel will continue to suffer. As a birthright alumni, I strongly urge everyone who is able to fulfill his or her birthright and visit Israel.