January 4: Peace is possible

Here in Canada, Arabs and Jews live in peace.

letters 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Peace is possible Sir, - The military action that is happening in Gaza right now is a very sad moment for both Arabs and Israelis. Israel has every right to defend itself against attack, but the death of civilians should sadden all of Israel. Hamas should be ashamed of putting the people it represents in harm's way. Here in Canada, Arabs and Jews live in peace. I personally have many Arab friends, and I'm an Israeli citizen. If it is possible here, then it's possible over there. I wish the best for both Jews and Arabs and hope peace comes soon ("Israel rejects truce proposal, but begins work on 'day after,'" January 1). BORIS BARG Vancouver Courageous Muslim voice Sir, - We should applaud Tawfik Hamid, who as a Muslim had the courage to come out and tell it like it is: We are being condemned for doing what we were forced to do, when it all could have been avoided had our neighbors accepted our right to exist. We are being blamed for defending our citizens. Hopefully, they will now wake up to the reality that we are here to stay, and maybe then we can all live in peace ("The Gaza solution is in the hands of Palestinians," January 1). SHARLENE BALTER Beit Shemesh Sir, - The excellent article by Tawfik Hamid describing the Islamist penchant for indiscriminate attacks on innocent people made interesting reading. Its publication in The Jerusalem Post, however, constitutes preaching to the converted. If only this article could appear in The New York Times, or The Washington Post, or, especially, the Guardian. MONTY M. ZION Tel Mond Does the 'Post' report fairly? Sir, - As a long-time subscriber to your paper I must say that I am quite perturbed. I wish I could subscribe, instead, to a fairer Israeli English newspaper. We are in the midst of another war to defend our citizens. I am not talking now about defending land; but about our lives. On Sunday and Monday of last week, the front page of your paper prominently showed a large picture of Gaza. What about the plight of our own people? What about the jeopardy we face 24 hours a day? What about the trauma our people are going through, worrying about the next rocket sent by Hamas - where and when will it fall? Who will be hurt, or even killed? Why should sympathy for our own people be relegated to other pages, as if it were an afterthought? Even if you want to be totally impartial, at least be fair and give equal reporting and coverage on the same pages. BINYAMIN CHERNOFSKY Jerusalem Who's being disproportionate? Sir, - I would echo Dore Gold's assertion that Israel's response to Islamist aggression has been commensurate with the threat posed to it ("Is Israel using 'disproportionate force' in Gaza?" December 31). I would also say the response of the international media has, once again, been "disproportionate." MICHAEL FLAHERTY Yavne You're just land-grabbers Sir, - I attended a large anti-war demonstration on Saturday in support of the citizens of Gaza. I am very well aware of the military situation in Israel and Palestine and can see at a glance that the Israeli government has no interest whatsoever in any peace settlement that would stop the massive land grab that epitomizes Israel. Perhaps if Israeli citizens stood back and looked objectively at what is happening they too would see that Israel could make peace at any time simply by lifting the sanctions and returning to their 1967 borders. Indeed, the whole world would support them in any action to defend those borders. The State of Israel is committing war crimes today and every day. No other country (with the exception of the US) could get away with this. ROGER WESTMORELAND York, UK Affluent to effluent Sir, - Because the cardboard houses provided by Ehud Olmert for the evacuees from Gush Katif are not expected to offer much resistance to Kassam or Katyusha rockets, our daughter in Nitzan, whose home suffered a direct hit in Katif, reports that the residents are being given giant sewage pipes in which to hide when they hear a red alert. Since the government treated the Gush Katif residents like a slightly vulgar four-letter word for the waste product of the digestive process, perhaps the nature of the protection being offered is appropriate. The fall in status of this courageous community, from relatively affluent to that of effluent, is truly sad ("The Gaza war follows us," Rachel Saperstein, January 1). HAROLD LEWIN Jerusalem Sense, it makes... Sir, - Then: "(Meretz chairman) Beilin calls to eliminate IDF draft," May 8, 2007). Now: "Meretz calls for IDF action in Gaza" (December 26, 2008). Meretz's apparent development of a rudimentary sense of self-preservation gives me hope that columnist Larry Derfner will one day develop at least a basic understanding of cause and effect ("The just war and the unjust war," January 1, and "Accept Hamas's offer," December 25, 2008). In the meantime, Derfner's contention that Hamas - which has always obsessively and unequivocally called for the elimination of Israel - fires missiles and mortars at Israel's citizens in response to Israel not allowing the terror organization to bring in trucks, ships and planes makes some sort of sense, if read backwards. YONATAN SILVER Jerusalem