August 22: What’s wrong?

The Israeli leadership has been wise to let Hamas break each cease-fire – knowing full well that it will – and standing firm in its demand that Gaza be demilitarized.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
What’s wrong?
Sir, – With regard to “Rockets fly, Israel retaliates, pulls Cairo negotiators” (August 20), folks, especially in the press, are asking what went wrong when, with each cease-fire, Hamas breaks it with rockets.
The answer is nothing has gone wrong. This a war of attrition against Hamas.
The Israeli leadership has been wise to let Hamas break each cease-fire – knowing full well that it will – and standing firm in its demand that Gaza be demilitarized.
Israel remains on the defensive, responding to breaches of the cease-fires.
This is the only way international opinion can’t be overly-critical. It reinforces the fact that those from Hamas are the bad guys.
One of these cease-fire violations might even be an opening for Israel to invade Gaza and destroy Hamas.
Sir, – We have not had much luck with cease-fires with Hamas. First, they decline them. Then they make unreasonable demands to open harbors and airports to facilitate arms smuggling. Then they accept them but break them early by shooting rockets at Israeli towns. This has forced us to retaliate.
I would like to suggest that we cease negotiating with Hamas or anyone else on these matters for now.
No meetings in Cairo or elsewhere. Instead, we should announce to the world that we will automatically accept all ceasefires proposed or accepted by Hamas.
All we need is 12-hour notice that they will stop shooting and we will respond with our own cease-fire at the same time.
If they break their cease-fire, we will respond – only more so. After a 30-day cease-fire that works, we will discuss and negotiate whatever they want with whomever they want.
This does not mean we will accept unreasonable demands, but we will think about them and make counter-offers.
Full deck
Sir, – “Axis of hostility” (Editorial, August 20) correctly presents the deplorable state of anti-Semitism worldwide. But it doesn’t offer a viable solution. Perhaps what Israel, the Jewish people as well as our Christian brothers should consider as a fitting response to George Galloway’s “Israel-free zone” in the British city of Bradford is an “anti-Semite-free zone.”
Following the example of the US in the second Gulf war, we should create a deck of cards with the pictures of the top 52 European anti-Semites to be avoided and rebuffed at every turn. Jews should be encouraged to hang the pictures of these anti-Semites in their schools, stores and homes to remind themselves never to forget that there are many in the world who are still looking to make the world judenrein.
Clean hands?
Sir, – The passionate plea by Pierre Krahenbuhl (UNRWA head: Unless blockade ends, Gaza’s citizens will face years of misery,” August 19) strikes me as more than a little disingenuous.
Where was UNRWA (and the UN as a whole) when for many years large quantities of cement and other materials that could have been used to build infrastructure in Gaza were instead seized by Hamas to build its lethal tunnel network? To be sure, Krahenbuhl condemns armed groups for storing weapons in UN schools. However, he doesn’t say why no steps were taken to prevent or merely object to such improper behavior.
One can be forgiven for questioning whether UNRWA comes with clean hands into this matter.
Mixed divorce
Sir, – Apropos the objections by Lehava to mixed marriages (“Social ties,” Editorial, August 19), annexing all of the Land of Israel, with its Arab-Palestinian population, will inevitably lead to more Jewish-Arab marriages. Is this what the religious Right really wants? Better an amicable Israeli- Palestinian divorce in a two-state solution.