Why we fight
Sir, – Exactly as I feared, Operation Protective Edge ended with a withdrawal without completing the job (“Israel, Hamas agree to 3-day truce to take effect today,” August 5). It couldn’t be more symbolic: We pulled out of the Gaza Strip again, and again on or around Tisha Be’av.
We have sacrificed at least 64 of our best children, ostensibly for the purpose of ensuring peace and security for ourselves.
What we actually have is a return to the status quo ante: The enemy has not been eliminated, rockets and mortar bombs are available galore, and no one is willing to guaranty that all of Hamas’s tunnels have been spotted and destroyed.
Thanks to the evident ineptitude of our leaders and their shameful lack of courage and faith, we failed to reinstate deterrence.
This means a new conflagration when our enemies see fit. Worse, we have proven that we can be counted upon to repeat our idiotic mistakes.
Unless a miraculous change occurs, I am afraid we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the Zionist dream.MOSHE KOLIN
Sir, – Protective Edge has not been about democracy versus theocracy or Zionism versus Islamism, all of which are man-made ideas and therefore finite.
Israel’s young men have been fighting and dying in a universal struggle for good versus evil.
In the struggle of good versus evil, such as was seen in the Holocaust, all of mankind has to decide which side to choose. As back then there were Germans who chose righteousness over serving the Nazis, individuals from all nations, as well as those in Gaza living under Hamas, are now facing the test of whether to support terrorists.
God never promised Israel that being a “light unto the nations” would be easy and without pain.
Most importantly, it must be clear that our young men did not fight and die for anything less than an eternal cause.ELISHEVA BORENSON
The PR struggle
Sir, – Having closely followed our main TV news channels as well as some English-speaking channels in Europe, it defies belief that Israel’s PR is still so unprofessional. Whenever an Israeli government representative debates with a Palestinian opposite number or is grilled by the presenter, the results leave one with a feeling of despondency.
Israel really needs to sharpen its game. It is too important to leave this to the same, inadequate representatives.
Also, when will Israel learn about photojournalism? Hamas won that part of the war hands down.PETER BAUM
What others do
Sir, – We owe a debt to the British.
It’s only natural that Israelis learned a thing or two from them; after all, they did rule (or misrule) this tiny strip of land for three decades. It is in the field of war that we learned our most important lessons.
At first Britain did not retaliate when the Blitz focused on civilians.
When it did it dropped leaflets warning of impending bombing.
It was scrupulously careful not to harm civilians, churches, schools and hospitals. It halted the bombing to allow in convoys with food and medicine, ensured a continued supply of fuel and water, and treated wounded enemy civilians in its hospital free of charge.
What’s that you say? Britain never did these things? So why do we? R. ABT
Sir, – Just as the world powers are commemorating one hundred years since the start of the Great War, perhaps the United States should this Saturday commemorate the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki (as it should have yesterday for Hiroshima) so as to pay tribute to its display of great restraint in war and its great care in avoiding civilian casualties.DONIEL STAHL
Sir, – In “Kiev says it recaptures rail hub in east Ukraine, five soldiers killed” (August 5), you report that the “rebels’ second- largest stronghold of Luhansk” had been “all but encircled” and that it “has been left without electricity or running water and the mobile network is down.”
Where is the outcry against this collective punishment and disproportionate action? Oh, of course – Israel and the Jews aren’t involved.LESLIE PORTNOY
Sir, – In reference to and in complete agreement with “Who is the war criminal?” (Comment & Features, August 3), I find UNRWA’s website mission statement (that it provides “assistance and protection to Palestinian refugees”) totally incomprehensible.
Considering the clear contradiction of just two known examples – 20 rockets were somehow stored in one of its schools and a booby-trapped terror tunnel that tragically killed three Israeli soldiers was built to open into one of its clinics – this must be seen as a treacherous betrayal of the people under its supposed care.
And it inconceivably claims that there is no “sanctuary” in Gaza.
I need UNRWA to answer these three fundamental questions: 1. Why don’t you take responsibility for “sanctuary” in Gaza? 2. Why don’t you admit to your own insidious duplicity with Hamas? 3. Why don’t you disown your iniquitous policy in Gaza and really and honorably take care of the people there? If UNRWA insists on remaining in deceitful denial, who besides Israel will hold it accountable? Maybe the International Criminal Court? SHOSH RINA-BATARIEH
Sir, – I think it is time for Israel to sue the United Nations for its absolute one-sidedness in allowing UNRWA schools to be used in rocket attacks against innocent civilians. UNRWA gave back to Hamas rockets that were stored in its facilities. It is certainly guilty of aiding and abetting the killing and maiming of innocent civilians in Israel.
It is very important that Israel undertake a proper public relations campaign that constantly points out the obvious – which is that UNRWA has become highly political and intertwined with Hamas, a terrorist organization.
We cannot allow UNRWA to become more polluted than it is.THELMA SUSSWEIN
Sir, – With regard to “Israel advocates get little space to respond to epistle in ‘The Lancet’” (August 1), here is the letter I wrote to the publication: “I was shocked, no disgusted, no ashamed, at the letter that was published on the situation in Gaza.
Is there no other viewpoint about the war in Gaza other than that expressed by the letter writers? “Israel may not be perfect, but is Hamas? Do Israeli soldiers really want to kill civilians? How do the letter writers know what is in the mind of Israeli soldiers? Well, I have never met another Israeli who wants to do anything but live in peace. Are there others who feel differently? I am sure there are, but to make it seem that this is the only opinion is not only a lie but an incitement against Israel.
“I doubt if anyone in Lancet cares about my opinion but to me [it] is no more than a biased journal whose perceived scientific standing has dropped from a high level (obviously mistaken) to a journal of no consequence anymore.
I hope my professional colleagues around the world will feel the same way.”MENI KOSLOWSKY
The writer is chairman of the Department of Psychology at Bar- Ilan University
The years referring to the fourth year of the Great Revolt against Rome in “For the redemption of Zion” (August 6) should have been 69/70 CE, and not as stated.