March 22: Why we (don't) fight

Those living in Sderot and the surrounding communities are just as important as those who live in Tel Aviv – those like like Barak.

Why we (don’t) fight
Sir, – When Ehud Barak was prime minister, the Palestinians waged an unending terrorist war against us, and Barak sent our air force to bomb empty buildings.
After the Park Hotel massacre, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon sent the army into the West Bank and the war being waged against us from there came to an end.
Now, almost 10 years later, the Gazans continue to terrorize the Israeli population living within missile range. Since Operation Cast Lead (a war left unfinished), our response to periodic attacks from Gaza has again been to bomb empty buildings or tunnels.
So, with Ehud Barak again in a position of great influence, this time as defense minister, we continue to tolerate unrelenting attacks on our people (“Israel vows to avenge Gaza mortar barrage, March 20).
I’m not quite sure why we have an army or even a country to defend the Jewish people.
Those living in Sderot and the surrounding communities are just as important as those who live in Tel Aviv – those like like Barak.
Sir, – I, as an Israeli, have had it with being abused by a majority of the media and a majority of the world. No matter what happens, Israel is portrayed as the bad one.
Recently, a mother, father and three of their children – the youngest being a baby – were stabbed and had their throats cut because they were what the world calls “settlers.” They themselves were blamed because they lived on “stolen land,” and people around the world were more upset over Israel’s decision to build more homes on this “stolen land” than they were over an Israeli family being murdered.
I did not read or hear in the foreign media about the recent rocket attacks on the western Negev, but I can bet you that a majority of the headlines read “Israel attacks Palestinians,” and only somewhere near the end you could read why.
Kibbutz Nahal Oz
Do the dirty work...
Sir, – How ironic that the nations surrounding Israel, some of them oil-rich and armed to the teeth, cannot attack Libya’s ruler on their own, but instead must rely upon their lackey dhimmis, the oil-dependent countries of the Christian West (“Five nations launch attack on Libya,” March 20).
Never mind that the Arab League did not bat an eye when Christians were persecuted, as happened to Lebanon’s Maronites, Egypt’s Copts and the South Sudanese – apparently, when Christians kill Muslims the world is in uproar, but when Muslims kill Christian the nations of Islam simply shrug their shoulders.
And when Muslim despots kill their own, the Arab League resorts to getting the West to “do the dirty work” lest it soil its hands. In a classic example of the emperor’s new clothes, not only does the oil-reliant West fight the wars of the Arabs, but even when the Arab League encourages a no-fly zone and affirmatively votes, as United Nations participatories, a resounding “yes” to the “use of all necessary force,” they still will not clean house when one of their own despots goes mad, kills his own populace and threatens to murder survivors who “hide in their closets.”
Wherefore the need for all the sophisticated weaponry purchased by the Saudis, to take but one example? It is a Purimesque absurdity that is laughable.
...but why just Libya?
Sir, – Regarding the the West’s attacks against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, other countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen did not warrant any action from the multinationals, and as Israel is again bombarded by Grad missiles it does not receive much international attention. “Oil” is the word! There are so many autocratic regimes responsible for human rights abuse in the world, so why do these nations select only Libya in order to “protect the people.” Double standards or what?
Kfar Saba
Sir, – Of course it is about oil. Did we miss the Security Council resolution authorizing the use of military force against President Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast, who, having stolen an election, is using his army to attack civilian opponents? I think not.
By any other name
Sir, – Kudos to The Jerusalem Post for the article about the US Homeland Security Department’s fence along the Mexican border to stop the smuggling of people and drugs (“Some angry Texans are stuck south of the border,” Comment & Features, March 20).
When we do this to save lives, the world calls it an “apartheid wall.” I wonder what they call it in Texas?

Bnei Brak
Careful reading due
Sir, – Bravo to Norman Cantor for his excellent piece (“My day of rage,” Comment & Features, March 20). The views presented should be acceptable to Israelis from both sides of the political spectrum, with the probable exception of extreme religious idealists.
Bravo, too, to the Post for highlighting the whole article in blue.
I commend careful reading of the article, with personal soul searching to maintain one’s feelings for true democracy and goodwill to all.
Tel Mond
Keep miracle going
Sir, – I would like to thank Liat Collins for her wonderful and most moving “Perpetually Purim” (My Word, March 20).
Although her column has little to do with the holiday, it brings back the stark reality that every day we are fighting for our lives not just here in Israel, but in the international arena as well. In particular, the description of the London-based War Museum exhibit with a 30-minute movie on ethnic minorities, which indicates that we, too, could be counted among these unimportant groups. What a chilling thought! Let’s hope that the Purim miracle continues to accompany us here in Israel.
Petah Tikva
Why not every day?
Sir, – When you spend Purim in Tel Aviv’s Florentine quarter in a realistic, full-body gorilla suit, you make friends fast. A group of young Sephardim raised their hands at me to slap five: “Ach sheli (my brother)!” Beautiful women saw me and initiated a dance. A black American man hollered at me “Monkey mannnnnn! You have to come over here!” Throughout the night I posed for at least 10 pictures, in embrace, with people I had never met and never will again. We exchanged elaborate, gangstastyle handshakes, banged chests, grunted animal sounds – standard inter-species conciliation.
Were I a “human,” we would not have acknowledged one another’s existence. I would be pegged with the role of the lame, conceited Ashkenazi man, and would probably succumb to pegging everyone else as whatever socially-determined stereotype their external facade represented.
But disguised in my holiday costume – a holiday that, appropriately for the scenario, revels at the discrepancy between the world’s superficial arbitrariness and deep-rooted deliberateness – I hugged strangers, was invited to play with people’s children, and entered into the midst of groups typically outside my social circle.
Being an animal, like a puppy, invoked automatic smiles and made me an automatic friend.
Come early morning, I went home and unmasked, contemplating what everyday life would be without our everyday costumes.