November 18, 2018: A new Marshall in Gaza?

Our readers have their say.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
A new Marshall in Gaza?
Regarding “Leadership or capitulation?” (November 16), with Gaza’s extremism showing the intractable dilemmas in this conflict, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did the right thing.
In the last war (2014), over 2,000 Gazans died and 12,000 were injured. Many Israelis were killed and wounded also, and tens of thousands of Israelis were terrorized by rockets, yet despite the horrific damage to both sides, we are back to square one. If Hamas is ruthless enough to prefer PR to its people’s welfare, then in another war the PR would be bad for Israel; and the deaths of Gazans and their economic devastation would only fan the fury of moderates and extremists.
If the Gazans could launch their (then) Kassams before Sharon’s withdrawal and before Hamas came to power and still during Israel’s physical presence in Gaza, how could outside bombings stop rockets now? What’s needed is a Israeli Marshall Plan – a socioeconomic/ political solution for both Gaza’s and Israel’s sake. Until some realistic solution that no one has suggested, including Netanyahu after 10 years in office, my heart goes out to Israel’s innocent southern population.
Cambridge, MA
Avigdor Liberman resigned as defense minister on Wednesday in the wake of a ceasefire deal that left Hamas with the perception, and correctly so, that they had controlled the events in Gaza over the past few days. Liberman wanted to continue without going into Gaza, bombing and destroying Hamas infrastructure, weapons storage facilities, terror tunnels and if possible going after Hamas leadership until Hamas would ask Israel directly for a ceasefire – not for Israel to agree to a ceasefire arranged through intermediaries which give the false perception that Israel sued for a ceasefire. Liberman was not given the opportunity to complete the task.
The editorial “Ceasefire for what?” (November 15) stating that Avigdor Liberman wanted to send ground forces into Gaza is fake news.
Ganei Tikva
Politically, Palestinians and Israelis are divided among themselves.
Hamas and Fatah are as divided as are Israel’s main parties. One- two- or even three-state solutions, diplomacy or war? One possible answer is targeted compromise funded by the UN.
Egypt and Israel cede more land to develop a modern environment with good environmental living, housing educational and health facilities for Gaza – built by the Palestinians themselves, which will give them purpose, work and a future that takes the mindset away from terrorism. If peace prevails, then the West Bank and Gaza can be connected with a secure commuter rail network. A demilitarized Palestinian state would pose no threat to Israel security.
Our prime minister is an architect by qualification. A bold design is needed for the future security of Israel as a diverse, inclusive society with a central foundation in Judaism.
Herzliya Pituah and London
Last week was not a good one for our country. What we saw from both our current government ministers and opposition party leaders was a transparent view of selfishness. There was a rush to chest-beating and to out-“tough talk” the next one. We heard about how the polls look and about early elections. Shame on you all.
Here’s the alternative. Elections are in one year. We have a serious problem in Gaza with Hamas and our current strategy isn’t good enough, yet. I accept there are no easy solutions, if any at all. But that’s when we Israelis are our best. Solving the unsolvable. How about pulling together – no early elections, no polls, finding and implementing a strategy together.
During the US Civil War, president Abraham Lincoln led a cabinet that termed a “team of rivals.” All of them were highly capable in their own right and each one could have been president themselves. Their greatness was that when the going got tough, they put country first. That was leadership.
How about some leadership from you guys? “A high tide raises all ships,” so you will have a true legacy to be proud of.
Ra’anana, Israel
Elbow room
My first thought on reading “Israel en route to becoming severely overcrowded, study reveals” (November 15) was how certain themes repeat themselves. In 1798, English economist Thomas Malthus worried many people in his “Essay on the Principle of Population” wherein he claimed that the world population would soon outgrow its ability to produce food – with disastrous consequences. People feared that the world might indeed come to its end. Some 220 years later, with exponential population growth accompanied by technologies unforeseen in Malthus’ time, the world still exists.
The article targets specific populations to reduce growth, even suggesting cessation of fertility treatments and children’s services in Israel. We might recall that a mere 70 years ago, one and a half million Jewish children were murdered in the Holocaust. The use of centuries-old scare tactics, which proved unfounded even then, strikes a particularly bitter note in a century that witnessed the decimation of the European Jewish population.
Beit Shemesh
Cosmically conscious
Regarding “California searches for 1,000 missing in its deadliest fire” (November 18), this disaster serves as the latest of many wake-up calls to the existential threat that climate change poses to Israel and humanity. The article concludes, “Scientists have said the growing frequency and intensity of wildfires in California and elsewhere across the West are largely attributable to prolonged drought that is symptomatic of climate change.”
Climate experts say that the world may be close to an irreversible tipping point when climate change spins out of control with catastrophic consequences. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicated that we need widespread, unprecedented changes by 2030 to avert disastrous climate events by 2040.
Israel is especially at risk from climate change. We are now in the sixth year of a major drought and a significant decrease in future precipitation is projected; The Kinneret is at a dangerously low level; a rising Mediterranean Sea could inundate the coastal plane, which contains much of Israel’s population and infrastructure; an increasingly hot and dry Middle East increases the risks of terrorism and war, according to military experts.
It is urgent that we apply Judaism’s teachings on environmental sustainability to help avert a climate catastrophe and to help shift our precious but imperiled planet onto a sustainable path.
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island
Your November 18 Health & Science article “Fish oil cuts heart attack risk, vitamin D lowers odds of cancer death” is perhaps the latest example of seeking a magic bullet to reduce disease risks. It seems people would rather pop pills than shift away from unhealthy animal-based diets that have been shown in many peer-reviewed studies to be a major cause of many life-threatening diseases.
From my family’s and my own experience, when one adopts a well-balanced, nutritious plant-based diet, Hippocrates proves to be totally right, advising us, “Let food be thy medicine.” While supplements always have potential negative side effects, animal-free diets have many positive ones, including reducing the mistreatment of animals, climate change, and other environmental problems, using far less land, water, energy and other resources – and reducing the risks of violating the laws of kashrut.
In addition, consumers’ large appetite for fish meat plus Omega 3 from fish oil is responsible, according to environmentalists and movements such as Save Our Seas, for 75% of the world’s fish populations to be removed faster than they can reproduce, while 90% of all large predatory fish (i.e. tuna, sharks, cod) have vanished.
There are plenty vegan alternatives that provide Omega 3, such as walnuts, flax, chia and pumpkin seeds.