November 16: Readers react to Pillar of Defense

At long last, after so much restraint on the part of Israel, the Defense Ministry has taken much needed action.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Sir, – At long last, after so much restraint on the part of Israel, the Defense Ministry has taken much needed action (“IAF hammers Hamas targets in Gaza offensive, November 15).
The Palestinians in Gaza cannot wage an undeclared war against Israel without a real response.
Even the UN Security Council should understand that in no way can Israel exist under a constant barrage of rockets.
Ban Ki-moon persists in asking Israel to show restraint. Instead, he should call a meeting of the Security Council and state his point of view, which should be that Israel must be supported in stopping the hostile actions against it.
We have reached the point in our struggle for our very existence where we must take into account the anti-Israel hostility of practically all the nations of the world because the Palestinians have been so successful in blackening our name – to which we have allowed ourselves complicity.
We are right in doing something drastic about the need to defend ourselves.
We must state this constantly, with no ifs, ands or buts. God bless our soldiers, our citizens and the justice of our cause.
Sir, – Hamas says the killing of one of its top terrorists was a declaration of war (“Hamas: This means war,” November 15). But who declared war first? The official Hamas Charter, written in August 1988, says:
1. “Israel exists and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it has obliterated others before it.”
2. “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”
Hamas’s charter is itself a declaration of war, and all who join Hamas are automatically sworn enemies of Israel. The fact that Israel chooses not to attack for long periods of time does not in any way absolve Hamas of its guilt for being in a permanent state of war against Israel for the past 24 years.
When its spokesmen try to influence public opinion by accusing Israel of starting a war, they are the worst kind of hypocrites.
Let no one be deceived: Those who founded Hamas declared war on Israel in 1988, and no amount of media hype can change this.
Sir, – I question people’s use of the term “assassination” to characterize the targeted killing of a Hamas military chief. The word is defined as an illegal act, whereas what the State of Israel has done is a legal act.
Similarly, those who target innocent men, women and children, as do the missile crews in Gaza, are terrorists, not militants.
It is wrong to play into the hands of Israel’s enemies by the inappropriate use of terms.
New York
Sir, – Hamas has learned some new lessons:
1. Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and Egypt cannot be relied upon to come to its aid in time of need.
2. Iron Dome has proved very effective.
Hopefully, Hamas will come to its senses and agree to a cease-fire before Israel is forced to commit ground troops. By reducing and crippling Hamas, Israel is sending a message to Iran that it had better abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons or it will be next on the list.
P. YONAH Shoham
Sir, – During the Second Lebanon War we were privileged to host a number of families from the North in our home.
After reading “Without protection, Beersheba residents hunker down for a long night” (November 15), we would like to extend a similar invitation to any families or individuals from the South who would prefer staying in the center of the country.
We can be contacted at (09) 749-4743 or (052) 657-6166.