January 2: Bottoms up!

How can I send a bottle or two of good Kentucky Bourbon to the skipper of the blockade-running ship?

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Bottoms up! Sir, - How can I send a bottle or two of good Kentucky Bourbon to the skipper of the ship that stopped Cynthia McKinney's lame attempt at blockade running? ("Free Gaza boat denied entry, claims navy fired shots," December 31). The whole crew deserves a tot on me. GARET ALDRIDGE Thomasville, Alabama A cease-fire?... Sir, - If we offer Hamas a cease-fire, they will reject it, as then they could not claim victory. But it would remind the world, and the Palestinian people, that this war is due to the intransigence of Hamas. Such valuable diplomatic points should not be squandered ("Paris truce offer splits Olmert, Barak," December 31). PAUL SANDLER Tel Aviv ...absolutely not Sir, - Talk of a cease-fire in Gaza was initiated by the EU and UN - but nothing has come from Hamas itself, which started this whole conflagration. And any cease-fire that is not called for by Hamas is worthless. The thousands of mortars and rockets that have rained down upon Israel in so many places within 40 kilometers of Gaza bear testimony to the quantities of military aid from Iran and Iran's friends that Hamas has been receiving. A cease-fire would allow Hamas to proclaim victory throughout the Arab world, and its propaganda value would just increase. Those who are calling for a temporary cease-fire are showing themselves to be conceptually bankrupt. All they want is another period of time that they think will give them a little quiet. They are refusing to deal with the whole problem of terrorism and how it will affect them too, pretty soon ("Bush tells PM he wants truce Hamas will respect," Online Edition, December 31). THELMA SUSSWEIN Jerusalem O, weak-kneed sleeping world Sir, - Islamist fascists hide behind women and children, using them as human shields while they fire rockets into Israel. How brave. When they get what they deserve in response, they hold up injured children and call it a massacre. And, world, you fall for it every single time. Wise up, world! ("Gaza portrayed," Editorial, December 29.) JOHN PROFIT Boston Intelligence test Sir, - What a striking juxtaposition of letters in your December 31 column! One, by a hoity-toity academic, says that if we want to know why he and his fellow academics in the UK are boycotting Israel, we should just "look at Gaza today." The letter following it begins: "I am of no consequence; a 70-year-old great grandfather who lives in a tiny American town..." He sees on TV the demonstrators outside the Israeli embassy in London and concludes that "they have no one but themselves to blame," having kept silent while Hamas fired thousands of rockets "at children playing in the streets of Israel." Now, who's the smart one here? SHERI GROSS Jerusalem