August 17: Spread the word

Iconic humanist Elie Wiesel’s ad against Hamas is a brave individual call.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sir, – With regard to “‘Guardian’ runs anti-Hamas Wiesel ad but support for Israel still ebbs” (August 13), we have all heard
Edmund Burke’s words: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s high time to listen!
Islamic State, Boko Haram, Islamic Jihad and Hamas march on and billions of good people watch helplessly while these groups’ supporters – much fewer in number – succeed in securing victory. Iconic humanist Elie Wiesel’s ad against Hamas is
a brave individual call.
But I think the world needs even more grassroots outcries against the barbarians, outcries not necessarily by the victims – Middle Eastern Christians, Yazidis and Jews – but by all good people around the world. One such initiative is a petition to the United Nations calling for Hamas leaders to be tried for war crimes. It can be found at If you agree, sign and spread the word.
Sir, – “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” is the name of an old hymn. Yet it is a non-starter and not very plausible in these days of world turmoil, so only after weeks, nay, months of hemming and hawing, the following appears: “US mulls military options for Iraqi mountaintop rescue of thousands” (August 14).
US President Barack Obama, who professes to be a Christian, has now vowed to prevent the genocide of tens of thousands of Christians and other minorities fleeing from Islamic barbarians. Yet food, water and air strikes are certainly no solution, and I am sure that according to Christian scriptures this delay borders on criminal negligence.
One might ask where is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon? I am afraid that the man is engrossed in lambasting Israel for casualties that were really caused by Hamas. He is not particularly concerned about the plight of thousands of Christians and he should be admonished in no uncertain terms.
Surely, world Christians should now demand that their brothers and sisters in dire straits must be rescued immediately, before it is too late. Not to do so should certainly be regarded as a grave sin in the eyes of Christianity.
Pretty obvious
Sir, – In “Rocket fired at Israel before midnight cease-fire expiration” (August 14), you quote a diplomatic official as saying:
“We want to see the Egyptian process work. But Hamas is a wild card.”
You go on to quote Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz as saying that “we don’t know what is going to happen; maybe more time will be needed” but that if Hamas holds its fire, so will Israel. It seems pretty obvious that we have already accepted such a situation and have done so for years while the citizens in the South have been more or less abandoned except for platitudes and meaningless chatter from the prime minister and others.
Once again we hear that quiet will be met with quiet – another pledge that Binyamin Netanyahu has reneged on. Are we really so desperate and inadequate that our very existence is left in the hands of a “wild card” that will decide whether to destroy us or leave us wait a little longer? Are we really so desperate and inadequate that our prime minister has to ask and even beg Arab countries, as well as a hostile US President Barack Obama, to settle our problems?
We have become so used to running from our enemies that we no longer know how to act. How the mighty have fallen – and all by our own hand!
Criminal behavior
Sir, – With regard to “Whither UNRWA?” (Editorial, August 14), if Israeli NGOs are able to successfully prosecute banks and hostile governments for their role in financing terror, it is puzzling why they cannot do the same regarding UNRWA.
UNRWA is aiding and abetting the perpetuation and exponential growth of a Palestinian refugee problem that should have been solved by neighboring Arab states 66 years ago. This alone should make any UNRWA activity something that has long passed its expiration date.
Of greater immediacy and urgency is the fact that UNRWA employees in Gaza are known to be Hamas operatives. UNRWA allows the indoctrination of children in its schools and camps into a terrorist mindset. It also provides hospitality for terrorist ordnance and terror operations, and when caught in possession of such ordnance it hands it over to active terrorist operatives for deployment against Israeli civilians.
UNRWA’s financial backing is primarily from the US government. Hence, Washington is providing fairly traceable support for terrorist activities that place Israel at risk and, more importantly, prevent Palestinian Arabs from achieving any semblance of dignity, purpose and autonomy. Tragically, the only growth industry in Gaza is making babies who are then brainwashed into terror while sucking at UNRWA’s breast. We can do something about this. The question is why aren’t we?
Sir, – Your excellent “Whither UNRWA?” editorial says it all. Yet perhaps one can add just a small point: Should not UNRWA personnel be held accountable under international law as accessories to a crime for having aided and abetted terrorists?
Petah Tikva
Sir, – The headline of your August 14 editorial should have been: “Wither, UNRWA!”
Petah Tikva
Fortunate and proud
Sir, – Thank God for Judy Montagu. Her warm, spirited, well-written and philosophical “Cowed, or proud?” (In My Own Write, August 13) makes us realize how fortunate and proud we have to be to be Jewish and have a land of our own.
Her last sentence says it all: “Israel is, sadly and perhaps inevitably, the great Jewish necessity of our time.”
The world needs us desperately. We seem to be the only country that sees evil and will not succumb to it. Let’s just hope we remain steadfast in this belief.
By the rules
Sir, – In his otherwise excellent analysis of the American alliance with the axis of evil (“Obama shielding Hamas barbarians at our gates,” Candidly Speaking, August 4), Isi Leibler repeatedly refers to the inhabitants of Gaza as “innocent civilians.”
But just as Germans voted for the Nazi’s National Socialist Party, Gazans voted for Hamas. Of course, not all Gazans voted for that party, and many of those who did must now regret their choice when they are forced to house combatants and weaponry.
Furthermore, the rules of warfare have changed since the Allies carpet- bombed Dresden. Yet the rules have not completely changed and it is disingenuous to infer otherwise. The allies’ own recent sorties into the combat zone have equally demonstrated the impossibility of completely avoiding civilian casualties. But there is another dimension that must be considered – the religious.
The most oft-quoted modern source is the Maharal, in his Gur Arye. He goes beyond the rule of the rodef, in this case Hamas as the pursuer and Israel as the pursued. He goes beyond the rule of suspension of rules in times of emergency, in this case war. Quite simply, when nations are at war they are not only perpetrators but also potential victims. The rights of the individual are
suspended. The rule of the collective reigns. In pragmatic terms and in light of the current conflict, it is not hard to see why. Gazans, by opting for Hamas, put themselves directly in the firing line.
Elwood, Australia