February 26: An ‘unnecessary’ assassination?

Derfner quotes the bible, saying there is a time to kill and a time to heal. I prefer to quote the sages: He who comes to kill you, kill him first.

An ‘unnecessary’ assassination?
Sir, – Larry Derfner contends that the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was an unnecessary act (“A tale of two assassinations,” February 25th). First of all, I very much doubt that the Mossad is culpable in this event. It’s highly unlikely that it would use 25 people to do this job. Mabhouh had many enemies, including in the Arab world, and some bright organization decided to kill him and frame Israel in one go.
Derfner then gives various ridiculous reasons the Mossad should not have killed him. He says Hamas is trying to rebuild Gaza and Israel is preventing it. The only thing they are rebuilding are new and destroyed tunnels. In addition, he says smuggling weapons is not the same as killing people. Is he mad? What are these arms for, playing cops and robbers? Netanyahu stated that any Palestinian entity must remain demilitarized – the reason being that many Palestinians would try to use these arms against Israel despite any peace treaty.
Derfner also wants us to lift the blockade of Gaza to ease the “desperation” of the population. Just the other day, UN envoy Robert Serry stated that “there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”
Derfner quotes the bible, saying there is a time to kill and a time to heal. I prefer to quote the sages: He who comes to kill you, kill him first. Whoever was responsible for this hit, the world is a better and safer place without this terrorist.
    JUDY PRAGER    Petah Tikva
Sir, – According to Larry Derfner, it “is wrong” to assume that a Palestinian state should not have the right to an army. Why? Perhaps if there were 22 Jewish states in the region, 800 times the size of the one Arab state, and the Jews were demanding half of the Arab state as well, Derfner might understand this assumption.
In addition, he says, “Hamas is holding its fire in Gaza and there is a peace government in Ramallah.” Well, aside from the constant incitement in both Gaza and the West Bank (witness, for example the recent naming of the Mughniyeh Square in memory of the infamous terrorist, and the killing of the Israeli soldier at the Tapuah checkpoint by a Palestinian police officer), the threats of a third intifada, and the recent deposit of explosive devices on Israel’s beaches, it does seem almost like a love-in.
Israel wants peace. But pulling the wool over our own eyes will certainly not bring it.
    DORON BEN-AVI     Thousand Oaks, California
Important, independent IBA
Sir, – I am writing in support of your reader who wants to save the IBA, as most English-speakers do, because we need it – and most important, Israel needs it (“Save the IBA,” February 24). Considering the anti-Israel feeling abroad, we must balance this with the truth of how we really are, and show the positive side of our lives here.
I agree with MK Nachman Shai that it should be non-political (“Nachman Shai asks A-G to intervene in IBA crisis,” February 24), and it must include a French and even a Russian program to reach as many people as possible.
I hope the powers that be will put the needs of Israel first and foremost before politics, but the government, which represents all of us, must support an independent IBA News program.
    HILARY GATOFF    Herzliya Pituah
Pat on the back
Sir, – With all due respect to your authority in choosing which news is printed on the front page, I submit that you missed an opportunity to give Israel a well-deserved pat on the back.
That the news item entitled “UK commander says IDF influenced British army doctrine on suicide bombing” (February 23) which included the story about the IDF by Col. Richard Kemp, was relegated to Page 8 was most distressing. This news item sang the praises of the IDF as no one else does.
    REIZL FINK     Jerusalem