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Letters week of Jan. 22, 2009
It's Moral Obligation for All to Defend Israel
Israel, in a continual war for its existence, is threatened not only by the terror of Islamic fascism and by the scorn of fanatical dictators, but also by the "elites" of Western society.
We are told that Israel's reaction to thousands of missiles fired at its citizens is disproportionate, and that Israel has violated the human rights of the Palestinians. Where is the outcry against Hamas, which uses its own women and children as human shields?
The mealy-mouthed response of Europe's leaders and their anti-Semitic press should remind us of Europe in the 1930s.
The threat to Israel from Iran and its Islamo-fascistic pawns of terror -- Hamas and Hezbollah -- are also a threat to our way of life.
There are strong voices of support for Israel, whether from our government or some of the leaders of Jewish organizations, specifically ZOA leader Morton Klein, especially in his memo to President-elect Barack Obama published in the Jan. 15 issue of the Jewish Exponent.
But it is the moral obligation of every Jew to act and speak in support of Israel.
If Hamas Wanted Peace, They'd Stop the Rockets
There has been much debate and accusations regarding the involvement of civilians in the current conflict in Gaza. But what about the Israeli civilians who have had to withstand a barrage of missiles for so long (Cover story: "As Gaza Fighting Rages, Diplomats Push for a Lull," Jan. 8)? Those missiles are aimed at populated areas with women and children.
If the press wants to be fair, the danger facing civilians in southern Israel should be addressed. Israelis don't use civilians as shields.
The press also doesn't mention that radical Muslims welcome death as a form of martyrdom and don't care about massive civilian casualties.
Suppose our country was constantly bombarded from either our southern or northern border. Would we sit idly by for years? Certainly not!
In the early part of the 20th century, U.S. forces went into Mexico when a threat to our civilian population flared up.
If Hamas really wanted to negotiate with Israel, they would stop shooting rockets. The fact that they don't only means that they want the destruction of Israel.
Only Language Hamas Comprehends Is Force
Here is vivid proof that Hamas is a barbaric organization, dedicated to terrorism, genocide and making a mockery of international law, while expecting that Israel will act with restraint: Hamas operates from a new underground headquarters located beneath the children's ward at Gaza's Shifa Hospital, and its naval force members have taken refuge at a school in Khan Yunis.
Imagine the vociferous outcry if Israel happened to bomb these facilities during this time of war -- despite clear justifications for doing so.
It is not hard to imagine that Hamas would take the first opportunity to bomb such an Israeli facility, with rejoicing and glee, especially knowing that collateral innocent civilian damage would be caused.
Hamas practices what it preaches: The preamble of its charter states that its "struggle is against the Jews," and Article 13 holds that "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."
It would behoove Israel and the world to finally take them at their word. The only language Hamas understands is superior force.
Israel Must Never Yield in Its Own War on Terror
It is pertinent to know that the first act of terrorism against the Jewish state occurred 10 weeks before Israel even became independent.
On Feb. 22, 1948, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists in the Jewish section of Jerusalem. The climate of Israel's threatened existence has been peppered with words like PLO, jihad and intifada.
Now the militant Islamic hydra has grown two new heads: Hamas and Hezbollah.
Based on past history, Israel must defend itself by means of the Herculean act of severing and cauterizing these two heads of destruction.
Israel is now waging its own war to end the infection of terror, just as the United States responded with "shock and awe" to blast back when terror threatened our own country.
Israel wants no more of its sons kidnapped, no more school buses exploded, and no more Passover seders interrupted by violence and death.
Israel must strive to seek, to find, to strike and not to yield in its war against Middle East terrorism.
Gloria S. Feldscher
Rabbi's Remarks at Rally Are Really a 'Shandah'
A well-known justice of the U.S. Supreme Court once said that there are limits to the concept of freedom of speech. For example, to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater is not protected speech. It's an incitement to riot and cause bodily harm.
When a local rabbi harangues American citizens with anti-Jewish remarks, that is not an exercise in freedom of speech (City & Suburb: "Demonstration Takes Place Against Israel," Jan. 1).
Where was this rabbi when the grave of Henrietta Szold was destroyed in Jerusalem? Where was she when the Hurvah synagogue was torn down by Arab forces? Where was she when Jewish kids in Kiryat Shemonah and other settlements spent their days and nights in bomb shelters?
Where was she when Arabs of Gaza actually destroyed land, buildings and greenhouses that were handed over to them freely as a gesture of peace? Where was she when Jewish men were kidnapped by Arabs and then slaughtered? And where is she now when bombs and rockets are showered on Jews daily in Israel?
No, she is not freely exercising her personal rights by her words. She is creating havoc. She has overthrown her obligation to the Jewish community. She has deliberately separated herself from our people and harms all of us. It is a shandah!