Letters to Editor, Opinion

LETTER: Israel’s critics unfair

In the course of discussing political events across the globe, it is easy to lose sight of the human element involved in all military and political struggles. Therefore, it is no surprise that in a letter to the Daily Free Press yesterday (‘Israel must end its brutality,’ Jan. 14) Hassan Awaisi ignored the fact that for years, Israelis have lived in fear of rockets ripping apart their homes and causing chaos and death. In the last decade, over 3,000 missiles have landed in the Israeli city of Sderot alone, not to mention other urban centers that have been the targets of missile attacks, shooting and homicide bombings over the last several decades.

If these attacks were directed at American cities, would we not expect our government to take some defensive action? Any nation’s leadership would be remiss in its obligation to its people if it did not defend their right to live peacefully in their land. Why should Israelis be expected to live quietly in fear while their children are in constant threat of a rocket landing on their school? Insisting that Israel be held to this unreasonable standard of passivity is unfair to its citizens, who desperately want to live in peace.

Therefore, it is ridiculous to condemn Israel for finally taking action against Hamas, a terrorist organization that has taken hundreds of Israeli lives over the years and shows no sign of changing its policies in the future. Hamas, left to its own devices, would do whatever possible to exact the maximum amount of damage on Israel and its citizens, and it is Hamas ‘-‘- not the Palestinian people ‘-‘- that the Israeli military targets in its strikes.

For this reason, it is unfair to blame Israel for civilian casualties in Gaza. While it is obviously tragic that civilians are being caught in the line of fire as Israel endeavors to prevent Hamas operatives from launching missiles into Israeli cities, it is important to keep in mind the reason civilians are dying.Hamas, the same organization attacking Israel, is the governing body of Gaza and is responsible for evacuating citizens in the face of Israeli air strikes. Hamas operatives are the ones setting up rocket launchers as close as possible to areas where civilians are attempting to hide from the violence. Israel is well within its rights to go after these Hamas operatives, and it is Hamas, not Israel, that is responsible for the deaths of civilians Hamas first put in harm’s way.

Therefore, when we talk about ‘a recurring nightmare’ in Gaza, as Awaisi does, let us not forget who is creating the nightmarish situation. It is the Gazan leadership by Hamas, a violent and hateful organization, that is responsible for the plight of the Gazan people. It is unfair and unreasonable to blame the Israeli government, which is doing its best to secure the safety of its people.

Ben Keil


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  1. well said, Ben.<p/>but maybe the Palestinian people — as well as Hamas — should shoulder the blame. they democratically elected Hamas and reveled in those 3000 rocket attacks. they want it both ways — to inflict damage and to cry like babies when they get it back.<p/>and don’t be fooled, Israel isn’t the only victor here. so is egypt, the PA, and the Saudis.