April 11: Targeting school buses

IDF says the rocket attack “crossed all red lines;” these lines were crossed years ago, which is why we are today fighting for our legitimacy and survival.

letters (photo credit: JP)
(photo credit: JP)
Targeting school buses
Sir, – Last Thursday, an antitank missile hit a school bus leaving my kibbutz after letting off our children from school (“Boy, 16, badly hurt as Hamas fires anti-tank missile at school bus,” April 8). If this rocket had hit about five minutes sooner, a lot more children would have been hurt or killed. One child, not from my kibbutz, was hurt seriously and my heart goes out to him and his family.
One day, I fear, one of these rockets will cause many injuries and deaths.
We in my area live our daily lives with the fear of rockets falling, and last week a warning was issued about the possibility of terrorist attacks inside communities that surround Gaza. Even in the Israeli media, these alerts were not reported. Only when someone is injured or killed does it get mentioned.
In the world media, it makes the headlines only if Israel attacks Gaza. Of course, this last attack did make the news around the world, but you had to know what to look for.
We in Israel want peace. Do you in the world think we love sending our children and grandchildren to wars to fight and die? Do you think we love being targeted by rockets in our daily lives? Do you think we love reading about innocent people being killed in Gaza? If you do, you have no idea who we are.
One last thing: If the Arabs would to lay down their weapons and make peace, life would improve for everyone, Arab and Jew. This area could be one of the leaders in the world economy. So instead of killing each other, we should be working together to better our lives and the future of our children.
Nahal Oz
Sir, – IDF officers said the rocket attack on the school bus “crossed all red lines” and that Hamas would pay dearly.
The red lines were crossed years ago, which is why we are today fighting for our legitimacy and survival. Ehud Barak said “We will not tolerate this attack,” and then finished his sentence with something unbelievable: “…and expect that Hamas understands what is permitted and what is forbidden.”
Does this mean we can accept attacks so long as they are not “deliberate,” that missiles fired randomly into homes are permitted? Is this what the Jewish people has been reduced to in its own land?
Sir, – It was not so long ago that we who are involved in road safety battled to have seat belts installed on the yellow buses that take our kids to school. We thought only about traffic accidents.
After last week’s horrific attack on a school bus by terrorists from Gaza, the decision we have to make is how to protect our kids and all the citizens in this country, so that everyday life does not descend into hell.
There is only one way – a concerted effort by our government to advance the peace process with those Palestinians who seek a solution, and let the world see that we are serious. We will then be able to take the necessary, aggressive steps to put an end to violence that leads to nowhere but misery for both our peoples.
In the meantime, there are cries for revenge and another crudely planned attack like Cast Lead, which resulted in… this.
Do we have any leaders here?
Tel Aviv
Sir, – The wanton rocket attack on a school bus near Gaza proves the absurdity of Larry Derfner’s latest column (“Goldstone was never the problem,” Rattling the Cage, April 7).
Derfner asserts that Operation Cast Lead was illegitimate because only 28 Israelis had been killed in the years leading up to the war, compared to 1,250 Gazans. By extension, he would argue that there is less reason for Israel to respond to this attempted mass murder because the terrorists failed to kill as many children as they hoped. This makes no sense.
The purpose of military response to terrorism is not vengeance but self-defense through the prevention of future strikes. Proportionality is determined not by actual damage, but by the enemy’s intent to cause harm and what is necessary to stop him from achieving his murderous aims.
To protect its citizens, Israel must use all available means to degrade Hamas’s terrorist capabilities and convince the group that it is in its own interest to end the attacks.
Zichron Ya’acov
Let the journos in
Sir, – Regarding “Peres to call on UN to shelve Goldstone Report” (April 7), the IDF and the Shin Bet contributed to the outcome of the Goldstone Commission – they prohibited foreign correspondents from accompanying Israeli troops into Gaza during Cast Lead.
Had the correspondents been able to witness what was taking place and report it to their media, the truth would have been known and there would not have been any need for Goldstone. If, God forbid, war breaks out again, will the same mistake be repeated?

Torah trumped
Sir, – I was pleased to see that Maccabi Tel Aviv will not play in the basketball final on Memorial Day (“Good news for Mac TA visa- vis Final Four, April 7). But what about the semi-final on Shabbat? Or is a Torah commandment less important than observing Memorial Day? What have we come to that no one seems bothered about it?

Perfect world
Sir, – Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz dedicated what might be called a freeway to the Tomb of the Patriarchs near Hebron (“First phase of NIS 35m. road in Hebron completed,” April 6). He proclaimed the ancient and unbroken tie between the Jewish people and its land for more than 3,700 years, emphasizing a Jewish-only-ness.
Imagine a different scenario: An Israeli and Palestinian leader share the same dedication ceremony, honoring “our forefathers,” both the Jewish Abraham and the Muslim Ibrahim. They’d be providing all children of Abraham/ Ibrahim access to a place recognized as holy by both Muslims and Jews, and affirming each other’s deep love of the land and place, acknowledging that both people are equally, deeply rooted in “our land.”
Imagine there’s a heaven....
O'Connor, Australia

Knowing the options
Sir, – Now that Efrat is trying to present anti-abortion advertisements (“NGO to launch biggestever campaign against abortions,” April 6), the Israel Women’s Network opposes this.
It says that more money should be spent on sex education and preventing unwanted pregnancies.
With this I can agree.
However, it says a woman should be able to make up her own mind as to what should be done when there is an unwanted pregnancy. It seems to think that making up one’s mind has to be done without considering options other than abortion.
Handful, but not small
Sir, – Ray Hanania (“Mourning a quiet, but effective, rebel,” Yalla Peace, April 6) attributes the murder of actor-director Juliano Mer-Khamis to a “small handful of fanatics.”
This small handful of fanatics is also firing rockets from Gaza into civilian neighborhoods of Israel daily. This is the same group that murdered Mary Jean Gardner in the recent Jerusalem bombing, and it sent the killers responsible for the murder of the Fogel family in Itamar.
Hanania does not address the problem of how Israel can possibly sign a peace treaty with the Palestinian Authority while Arab fanatics gun down an Arab-Israeli actor-director in cold blood. Can the Palestinian people take on the responsibility of a state if they can’t govern themselves?
Petah Tikva