August 10: My child

If some people had snatched my child, who could label any action I took as excessive or disproportionate?

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
My child Sir, - If some people had snatched my child and no one came to help when I screamed, who could label any action I took as excessive or disproportionate in my effort to get my child back? ("'Don't forget about our sons' - kidnapped soldiers' families appeal to Knesset," August 9.) ZVI STONE Jerusalem Politics of possibility? Sir, - Millions of us worldwide, especially women, of every race and religion grieve for what is happening in the Middle East. We believe this violence is a failure of leadership by shortsighted men in the US, in Israel and in Arab countries who insist on using barbaric solutions. The truly courageous among us in every nation must use creative, problem-solving, human kindness and faith-filled wisdom to articulate the politics of possibility. Let it begin today. ANNE McCRADY Henderson, Texas Paying the price Sir, - Indeed, Israel is "Paying the price" (Editorial, August 9) - for overconfidence. For grossly underestimating the power and resilience of the enemy. For failing to face the danger of the rockets piling up in Lebanon. And for dithering, waking up in degrees, changing one plan after another after each was found inadequate. And for too much announcing, and not enough acting. JOSEPH DASHEFSKY Massapequa Park, New York Just maybe Sir, - If Israel is guilty of war crimes for killing innocent civilians, as per Kofi Annan, then surely so are the US and Britain in Iraq, and Iran and Syria in Israel? The Iranians have openly called for Israel's destruction and armed a gang of terrorists to do this. Maybe Israel is being singled out because it is a Jewish state? D. WOLPERT Johannesburg Dealing with evil Sir, - An Islamo-fascist - any one of the leaders of Hamas, Hizbullah or Iran - is a reincarnated Nazi who in his pursuit of death has substituted the Master Religion for the Master Race. On all other significant points they are the same. The solution to today's evil is the same as before: The pursuit of unconditional surrender and massive destruction of the enemy's territory. Any call for killing the infidel or for jihad must be understood as an act of war and dealt with accordingly. Any government authority that permits its territory or resources to be used to promote the Islamo-fascist agenda must be warned that unless it takes immediate remedial action, it will be treated as an enemy state ("The central moral issue of our time," Victor Davis Hanson, August 9). ALEKSANDRS LAURINS Riga, Latvia Why the 'moderates' were weakened Sir, - If Arab governments and media had not constantly fed their people lies and propaganda about Israel and Jews all these years, the Arab street wouldn't be siding with Hizbullah now ("Abdullah: Mideast fighting has weakened moderates," August 4). Ask just about anyone who has emigrated from Iran, Lebanon or scores of other Arab and Muslim countries, and they will tell you they were raised to hate Israel and Jews and believe we are the source of all their problems. King Abdullah II of Jordan and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak cannot blame Israel if "moderate" Muslims have been weakened. The Arab world created this mess by making conditions ripe for its people to idealize Hizbullah and other terrorist groups out to destroy Israel. Otherwise why would any rational, moral person support Hizbullah, a movement that turns children into martyrs and is intent on sending its own people back 1,000 years and dragging the rest of the world down with it? KATE HALLGREN Jerusalem Firm support Sir, - I always support Israel, and now I am staying in my position because our problems are the same. We here know what the words "terror" and "genocide" mean. You have the right to destroy terrorists located in Syria, Lebanon or Iran. I wish you success and peace. ELMAR ISAYEVS Khachmaz, Azerbaijan True morality Sir, - Once upon a time Israel had its finger in the dike in Gaza. The dike has moved to a much more dangerous area - Lebanon. As far as the US is concerned, Gaza was practically a peaceful backwater in the global struggle. Charles Krauthammer sees clearly how Israel is the "human shield" for the US (and the Western world); but a human shield of a different kind than elsewhere. We fight, and not only for our own sake. That's true morality ("What has Israel done for America lately?" August 7). MIRIAM L. GAVARIN Jerusalem What I'd say to Nasrallah Sir, - If I could speak to Hizbullah's Sheikh Nasrallah, this is what I would say: Hundreds of people have been killed and more hourly. I say "people," and not Israelis or Lebanese, because human misery is human misery. Parents are burying their children in reversal of the natural order of events. Thousands are being maimed, millions displaced. Careers are being wrecked and businesses and properties destroyed. As one of the reportedly most widely revered public figures in the Islamic world today, I ask you: Is it worth it? You are a man of religion. If you have an ounce of humanity, stop the carnage now. It's in your hands. If not for all our sakes, why prolong your people's agony one hour longer? MAURICE OSTROFF Herzliya Listen and learn Sir, - Generally I am glad that people who think like Roy Wagner are around, and proud to be on the side that does not throw such people into dungeons ("Say no to war," August 8). However, anybody who still thinks that "desperation" is what gets people to join Hizbullah, Hamas, Fatah, etc. is so busy imagining himself in the other's position that he doesn't listen to all sides. Even if you have walked a proverbial mile in someone's shoes (a mental effort for most), you didn't go to the same schools, watch the same TV channels, read the same papers, listen to the same jokes or ask the same people for a job. It is still you in those shoes. Empathy is wonderful, but it needs to be accompanied by paying attention all round. I try for both - and I am afraid I cannot reach the same conclusions as Mr. Wagner. JACOB GORE Denver, Colorado Hold those photos Sir, - I believe you should refrain from publishing pictures of grieving people. Surely it's an invasion of their privacy, and serves only as a demoralizing factor for the public (Photo accompanying "Two reservists killed in Hizbullah clashes," August 9). LEE ROSENZWEIG-DOR SHAV Jerusalem