August 9: Cut to the chase...

I always thought that in Jewish tradition, if someone comes at you with a gun and threatens to kill you, you have the right to kill him first.

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
Cut to the chase... Sir, - I always thought that in Jewish tradition, if someone comes at you with a gun and threatens to kill you, you have the right to kill him first. Let's cut to the chase. The bottom line in this whole mess is very simple: If Iran ever builds a bomb - and the international community appears unwilling to stop it, even though it is strong enough - the questions David Horovitz raises will confront us again. Only then it will be too late ("Ethical dilemmas for Israel at war," August 8). GEORGE MEDOVOY Davis, California ...forget blame Sir, - I agree that the responsibility of the present situation is on the "killers firing the rockets" ("The fingers of blame," August 7). However, to win a war it is essential to look, without emotion, at the concrete results of one's actions and be ready to improve strategy, change it if needed, and correct errors. It is not a matter of blaming, but of being effective and sustaining minimum losses. So instead of the self-reassuring "it's their fault, not ours," I would try to pinpoint the strategic weak points on the Israeli side, the problems in training and, most of all, the possible miscalculations. One must learn from what went wrong in order to design an imaginative new approach that will permit one to win. We are masters of our actions, and can improve them in any situation. GIOVANNI LEVI Paris Help Israel win Sir, - Western leaders fear the escalation of this conflict - but they should welcome this crucial battle in the war between Western civilization and the Islamic totalitarians who want to destroy it. Western countries should not only help Israel destroy Hizbullah, they should act to bring down the terror-sponsoring regimes in Syria and Iran. The sooner we in the West engage and defeat these regimes, the safer we will be ("UN vote on cease-fire unlikely now until Thursday," August 8). DAVID HOLCBERG The Ayn Rand Institute Irvine, California Sir, - The world watched the Buddhas being blown up in Afghanistan. When will it wake up and see that these radicals want to take over the world? I hope I do not live to see the Vatican suffer the same fate. At least Israel has the hutzpa to stand up while others only watch. ARI ROTHMAN Miami Peace with tea? Sir, - The Jerusalem Post owes us readers an apology for printing Roy Wagner's "Say no to war" (August 8). If it was meant as a serious piece, it was an insult to our intelligence. If it was meant as a parody, this is not the time. We are at war, and people are dying. Reading how we could make peace over a cup of tea with Goebbels and the jihadists is just not funny. This war is the consequence of our laziness in educating ourselves about Islam. Don't compound the problem by printing fairy-tales. MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC Beersheba Sir, - How dare Roy Wagner equate the IDF and Hizbullah as just two fighting institutions? The IDF's entire purpose is to defend the State of Israel, whilst Hizbullah's is to eradicate Israel and kill Jews worldwide. Mr. Wagner says we are not talking or negotiating enough. Didn't we talk with the Palestinians till we were blue in the face? No peace resulted, so we walked out of Gaza. That brought us Kassam rockets. If Mr. Wagner is so keen to negotiate, let him take the first plane, boat or mule to Teheran and negotiate with the powers that be there not to wipe Israel off the map. I'm sure the Israeli government would be delighted to find someone to do that job. I back the wonderful IDF and wish them success in eliminating Hizbullah. Then it will be time to talk and talk, and talk... again. JUDITH PRAGER Petah Tikva Sadly funny Sir, - Re Matthew Wagner's "Torn between patriotism and Greater Israel" (August 4): The term "Greater Israel" would be funny, were it not so sad. The area called Greater Israel is no wider at its widest point than the 30 miles the average American drives daily to his workplace and back again. Unfortunately, those not familiar with Israel must think it the size of Alaska and little attempt is made to educate otherwise. DAVID AARONS Jerusalem How it's said Sir, - Shame on you, Charles Krauthammer! Sometimes it isn't what one says, but the way one says it ("What has Israel done for America lately?" August 7.) If Israel is not living up to American expectations, is not performing to its usual spectacular standards, we are well aware of it. At this crucial moment we can't afford to dwell on our mistakes and shortcomings, and certainly don't deserve to be reproached about them or humiliated by close friends. Israel's capability cannot be measured by any standard yardstick. It defies reason and involves immeasurable self-sacrifice, fierce dedication, innovative resourcefulness, and an absolute necessity to turn the tide of this war in our favor, as we have in every other war we have fought. As a veteran American immigrant, I urge Krauthammer to restrain censure at this stage, express firmer faith in Israel's ability to overcome and, above all, apply his superior skills to encouraging Israel in that direction - but not because we are beholden to America. ZIPPORAH PORATH Givat Savyon Unhelpful Sir, - At this time of heightened sensitivity and suffering of the entire nation Harvey Hass's letter ("Cease-fire," August 7) seemed highly inappropriate. A cease-fire means absolute cessation of all military activity. Speculating whether or not this activity is categorized as an independent war or as a manifestation of the ongoing peace process is over-pedantic, off the point, and undermines the efforts of those attempting to bring this conflict to a satisfactory conclusion. REUVAIN FREEDMAN New York Sound of silence... Sir, - After the report that some UNIFIL members had been hurt ("Hizbullah wounds UNIFIL men" August 7) I zapped the news networks - Sky, BBC, CNN and FOX - for hours to hear UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan express his outrage at the tragic accident. Zilch. EMANUEL FISCHER Jerusalem ...scenes of bias Sir, - I feel disgusted with the Western media coverage of the current conflict in Lebanon. It is a bit shocking to see the naivete of European and American reporters, and just how biased the information we are getting is. A simple example: After all the hysteria about the Kana "massacre," some days ago there was a simple mention - no headline - that there were 28 killed, instead of 57. But just recently I heard a CNN reporter say "37 children were killed" in Kana. Also interesting is that whenever Western journalists are allowed to visit bombed Lebanese sites they always find among the rubble carefully placed photos of families and children, and children's toys. Israeli PR should try to do a better job. Israel must show more than simply Katyusha launchers being destroyed ("The media aims its missiles," Tom Gross, August 3). M RIO MATOS Lisbon Sir, - Richard Joel Martel rightly raised the question of whether Denis MacEoin's op-ed on Tony Blair would have been published in a UK national newspaper ("Right piece, wrong place," Letters, August 7). I raised the same point with James Arbuthnot, chairman of the Conservative Members of Parliament Friends of Israel, regarding his article in support of Israel published in The Jerusalem Post's UpFront magazine on August 4 - to be told he had been unable to place it with any British paper. PETER SIMPSON Pinner, Middx., UK Wake-up call Sir, - As the conflict deepens, so it should become evident that this sad and awful war is for the very survival of Israel, which has the right, like any other nation, to exist and live in peace. Despite the demonstrations in London by Muslim extremists the people of Britain can now surely see that Israel is courageously doing what the great nations of the world are afraid to do: stand not only against the evil and aggression of Hizbullah, but against the international threat of Syria and Iran. This war Israel so bravely wages should be the wake-up call the world needs. As a Christian who loves Israel and God's chosen people I thank you for taking this stand. He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. MAIR MORGAN-GREY, M.B.E. Dyfed, West Wales, UK Kudos to Israel Sir, - "Hadassah offers special service to lesbians" (August 7) was an excellent story. I have always said one can judge a culture by how it treats homosexuals. Where else in the Middle East could one even talk about homosexuality, let alone offer treatment? Kudos to the State of Israel for showing what I've known always: It is a free, democratic and humane oasis in a sea of fascistic cruelty. NATALIE ROSEN Framingham, Massachusetts Wish you were there Sir, - Re "MKs trade barbs over vacations abroad" (August 7): Let Tzahi Hanegbi travel, but immediately replace him with another cleverer and more conscientious MK. In a way, he is an honest man. He is aware he can't do much - so why stay? It might, in fact, be a good idea for a few more MKs to go on holiday. HAYA GRAUS Jerusalem In Gibson's head Sir, - Mel Gibson's friends may have come to expect the unexpected, but perhaps they're simply fooling themselves. Tom Sherak: "I hate what he said - everyone should hate what he said - but maybe this will get him to think through whatever's in his head and work it out" ("Gibson friends have come to expect the unexpected," August 7). Clearly what's in Gibson's head is his bigotry. It's a shame his friends don't recognize it. RICHARD A. ROSEN Mount Vernon, New York