November 13: Response to rockets

Every country has responsibility for the safety of its citizens. However, Israel is so afraid of being criticized by unfriendly countries that it barely does anything to stop Hamas from firing rockets at its citizens.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Response to rockets
Sir, – Every country has responsibility for the safety of its citizens. However, Israel is so afraid of being criticized by unfriendly countries that it barely does anything to stop Hamas from firing rockets at its citizens (“Palestinians renew rocket attacks on southern Israel,” November 11).
Frankly, the people living in the south of Israel and even in Ashdod cannot understand what Israel’s army and air force do in Gaza. The air force hasn’t even eliminated the smuggling tunnels.
Hamas keeps its hold on Gaza, and the people there should have sufficient reason to say the Islamist group must go. But they have no reason to do this as Israel does nothing of substance to make them unhappy.
For the sake of its own citizens who live with constant terror, Israel must decide to do something very soon to eliminate the need for having schools threatened and men and women in need of being so close to shelters that they cannot live or work properly.
We should not make our defense predicated on the European Union’s idea of what is correct. After all, we are supposed to be a free and sovereign nation in our own land.
Sir, – Your front page headline “Palestinians renew rocket attacks on southern Israel” hardly qualifies as news. It has become, to our shame, routine.
The army “responds” by attacking pre-planned sites, and nothing changes.
We should simply cut off the Gazans’ electricity and water, and the money we allow in. Let them stay busy figuring out how to live on their own, giving them no time or resources to keep attacking us.
Thoughts on Petraeus
Sir, – I find it difficult to understand why some so-called experts reacted with dismay to the resignation of David Petraeus (“CIA director resigns, admits to extra-marital affair,” November 11).
It’s too bad that such a promising career should come to an early end, but all officials, military or otherwise, must be held to account when they go off the rails to carry on an extramarital affair.
Perhaps I am old fashioned, but it seems to me that if a man or woman wishes to carry on an affair, he or she must be prepared to pay highly for it. Of course, he or she might believe that the indiscretion will never become known, but these things seem to have a way of coming out willy-nilly.
Next time someone in high office feels like kicking off his or her shoes, let that person think twice. And then think again!
Sir, – David Petraeus is more than a man of conviction. His resignation can also be chalked up to his disagreements with President Barack Obama.
Petraeus was forced against his will in Iraq and Afghanistan to carry out what he felt were wrong decisions. Thus, he resigned also because Obama was reelected.
His own words
Sir, – Reader Ken Kalcheim (“Let them decide,” Letters, November 11) seems to have added his own words to reader Steve Kramer’s comments.
Kramer never even hinted that “Jordan is Palestine.”
The only occupation that took place was the Jordanian occupation of eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria against the terms of the British Mandate. The land that Jordan occupied was defined by the UN resolution of November 1947. The Security Council considered it “an act of aggression to attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by the resolution.”
As a result of the unwillingness of the surrounding Arab states to accept the resolution, and the invasion by Arab armies of the nascent State of Israel, the land returned to the status defined in Article 80 of the UN Charter, as written in the Levy Report.
The Israeli government has officially committed to a two-state solution, but Palestinian leaders and their constituency are unwilling to recognize the existence of Israel and sit down and negotiate an agreement.STUART PALMER Haifa
Sir, – Ken Kalcheim does not address the fact that the reasons behind our being in all the places we went into was a defensive measure – to keep our enemies far enough away to make it difficult for them to infiltrate and kill our people.
We were willing to let things alone after the original 1947 UN decision, but our enemies were not. As unprepared for war as we were, we prevailed, and we need to be sure we will continue to prevail.
Once a single sincere gesture of peace comes from our foes, we will surely consider adjusting our view. But why now, when hostility and rockets are what we face daily?
Views from America
Sir, – Israel is facing growing uncertainty. This has been exacerbated by the reelection of President Barack Obama. His policies toward Israel cannot be construed as positive in any sense of the word.
The argument is often made that if Obama is “so bad for Israel,” then why do so many Jews support him? It’s not that Jews support him per se; it’s that US Jews have been lifelong Democrats. He is the face of the party, but it is the party that Jews have an affiliation with, not necessarily with him.
Were the Jews not there to check Obama’s actions, he would have enacted more outwardly hostile policies toward Israel.
As Jews we must remain ever vigilant and guard against the policies of the Obama administration.
The next four years are going be telling for Americans, Israel and, indeed, the world. What we can say with certainty is that Obama is no longer fully accountable to the electorate.
BRETT CHATZ Clearwater, Florida
Sir, – I am a supporter of Israel, the son of ardent Labor Zionists, a member of the Democratic Party and a longtime supporter of Barack Obama.
In the election just past, Jewish Republicans, buoyed by testimonials from Americans who made aliya, did a good job of portraying Obama as somehow anti- Israel despite the fact that his administration has had more military cooperation with Israel than any other. Romney had already signaled that he was not interested in engaging in the peace process and counted among his closest friends and supporters pro-Arab oilmen.
So what is the problem? In a word, Netanyahu, and the evermore right-wing coalition he leads. His policies make any peace impossible, and in joining with the party of Avigdor Liberman he solidifies a fortress-Israel mentality and will never compromise.
If you want stronger relations with Obama, you have only to send Netanyahu home next January to work on his memoirs.
MITCHELL S. ROTHMAN Merion Station, Pennsylvania
Lunatic fringe
Sir, – I was visiting Israel when, on November 4 at 6:15 p.m., I took bus No. 497 from Beit Shemesh. I was shocked to discover that the bus was segregated and that I was expected to use the back door and sit in the back.
Clearly this practice continues despite being illegal.
I fail to understand the difference between the groups that impose this in the name of God, and extremists from other religions who marginalize women.
Little good can come of this in the long run.
How can these men, who have no exposure to women, be good husbands and fathers? Do they really have so little willpower that they are unable to resist even the sight of a woman? Government and religious leaders should work toward educating these people rather than catering to the lunatic fringe.