Priority to letters that are brief and topical, which bear the writer’s name and place of residence, as well as item being referred to.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Talk of a cease-fire
Sir, – With regard to “US, UN pushing hard for immediate ceasefire,” July 22), it seems we might once again leave Hamas unbroken, only to have to repeat the same operation in a few years time. All that remains is to decide on the terms. It is certain that whatever is agreed will not be honored by Hamas, and promises from the US and Europe will likely prove equally futile.
As Hamas is sustained by support from the EU and the US, it seems reasonable to me that these donors should be held responsible for the costs inflicted on Israel by their protégé. Hence, the terms of the cease-fire must include a clause to recompense Israel for the costs of Operation Protective Edge, including the cost of calling up reserves, the munitions used, the damages to be repaired and, while we’re at it, the moneys owed by both Hamas and the PA for electricity and water that we supply. If the Western world also wants to repair the damage to Gazan real estate, that’s okay, too If the countries that are so anxious to support Hamas have to pay for the cost of their largesse, they might be a little more careful to ensure that their charity is used to feed the poor and hungry instead of being used to reequip the terrorists with further weapons.
STEPHEN COHEN Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – International pressure is gearing up to force a cease-fire upon Israel and Hamas yet once again.
Everyone will claim victory. Our politicians will get their ticket out of this mess and Hamas will escape to fight another day. Not only will Hamas recoup its losses in a few short years, it will double stocks, improve firepower, accuracy and range of terror as it has done each time before. In other words, you can already mark the next war and the next in your appointment calendar.
If Israel wants to win this war, it will have to wage it unconventionally.
Actually very conventionally would be more accurate. For example, it is absurd that we provide Gaza’s electricity and water. It is absurd that we allow supply trucks to carry anything into Gaza through our checkpoints. And it is especially absurd when we do this at a time of war. Can you imagine the Soviets voluntarily supplying the Nazis with essential supplies after June 1941? Or pick any other war.
We gain nothing by providing utilities to the Gazans. Not even international goodwill and sympathy.
Let’s not kid ourselves. The habitual anti-Israel critics will have their feeding frenzy no matter what we do, even as multiple times as many die in current conflicts elsewhere throughout the Middle East.
International law may determine under which circumstances Gaza’s electric and water installations may be legitimately targeted, but it cannot force us to provide these utilities.
It is our choice to sell to the Gazans or not, as much as it is the Gazans’ choice to buy or not.
Honor and respect
Sir, – Our rabbi sent an email to congregants asking people to go to the funeral of Sgt. Sean Carmeli (“Jewish communities mourn loss of two US-born lone soldiers,” July 22). The Haifa military cemetery is about a 10-minute drive from our house. My husband said we must go.
When we arrived we were told that the funeral had been delayed to allow the arrival of his parents from Texas. There were already a few thousand people at the gates.
Over two hours the most amazing thing occurred: Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people came. According to police estimates there were more than 20,000, few, if any, who had known Sean personally. They only knew he had been a lone soldier and feared there might be only a few people at his grave.
They came in silence. No pushing.
Talking in whispers. More and more mourners came from all directions yet the silence was maintained.
The might of many thousands of people standing in respectful silence is an unbelievable experience.
They kept coming, young and old, husky and maimed, new immigrants and veterans, religious and non-religious. As I looked around I realized that this was the strength of the people of Israel.
This outpouring of loving kindness.
No matter where we come from, we are brothers. We have a shared past and a shared fate, and in times of tragedy we gather together to give honor and respect.
Kudos to Bibi
Sir, – We are a nation under constant fire, facing an existential threat to our very existence. I know that any other nation in the world would declare martial law and suspend civil rights. Not the democratic state of Israel! Here we have our prime minister battling with his own cabinet, security cabinet, opposition members and the world at large. Day and night, day after day, his shoulders bear the full weight of Israel and, in many ways, the Jewish people.
Yet he deals with these challenges and makes very hard decisions.
He addresses the nation, conveys the sad news of the loss of our best boys, explains why he does what he does, why he seems too soft to some and too tough to the world.
The result? A masterful conduct of diplomacy that exposes to the world just how brutal is our enemy! After all this he takes tough questions and criticism from the press.
No long, rambling replies to run out the clock, just direct, succinct answers by a leader who is truly accountable to his people. He explains why he decided as he did.
He answers the questions with patience and compassion, as if he has all the time in the world although he has to rush to yet another security cabinet meeting and spend another long, sleepless night, sick over the loss of even one more son of a dear mother and father.
I thank you Bibi. I know that God is with you and we will succeed under your leadership.
Future is here
Sir, – I am of the opinion that we should all realize – and the sooner the better – that the fanatical heads of Hamas, as well as Hezbollah and all the warring factions in Syria, are determined to do their best to eliminate the State of Israel and its people. Hezbollah has amassed and concealed among its civilian population in southern Lebanon many thousands of long-range rockets that can accurately hit targets deep inside Israel.
We hear about the urgent need to reinforce our hospitals, many schools and kindergartens against rocket attacks, and to provide additional bomb shelters for the population – but then are told the authorities plan to budget for these essentials only over the coming years.
I maintain that we do not have the luxury to wait.
If we need financial help to carry out these vital projects now, there are many Jewish millionaires and billionaires all over the world to whom the State of Israel can and should turn for immediate funding.
A plea to Gazans
Sir, – I wish to address the people of Gaza: Your life is unbearable. You have high unemployment, you’re poor, you’re suffering from shortages of water, electricity and gas, and most of you are living in homes that are crumbling. Other people live with all the conveniences they need, with good jobs and regular vacations.
To most of us luxuries are what we work for, but for you they’re unreachable dreams.
What happened? Who put you in this predicament? Israel left Gaza for you to build a beautiful community but you elected Hamas, which destroyed that dream. It is now Hamas’s leaders who have what you want and deserve. Look at their cars and their houses. What is left is invested in trying to destroy Israel, paying for guns, rockets and tunnels while you go without food for your children.
You have nothing but suffering.
Hamas needs to keep you down and your children uneducated so its leaders can live the luxury they’re used to.
Arabs and Jews lived together peacefully for many generations.
We are biblical cousins. Israel hasn’t had a war with Egypt since the peace treaty was signed. But because Hamas hates Jews and wants to destroy Israel, you’re getting killed every day.
Give up the senseless, useless hatred. Educate your children to love the world and all its people.
Join the world. Enjoy what it offers.
Speak to your family, your friends, your community members.
Tell them what you have read here. Get your people to vote for leaders who care about you.