Letters

LETTERS

January 11, 2009

Israel must use force to stop terror attacks

Once again, the tiresome phrase "disproportionate use of force" was used by The Baltimore Sun to describe Israel's recent military response to years of unremitting terror inflicted on its citizens by missiles fired by Hamas ("Ground war in Gaza," editorial, Jan. 7).

After years of bombing empty buildings and the homes of terrorists, Israel has finally decided that it must act in a manner that it believes will truly defend its citizens by crippling the Hamas terror network.

Munition stockpiles in mosques and missile launchers in civilian neighborhoods will no longer force Israel into showing restraint in fighting terror.

When Hamas accepts Israel's right to exist and stops killing innocent Israeli citizens, its citizens will then be able to live in an environment free of the fear of "disproportionate" retaliation for its leaders' acts of terror.

Mark Okun, Stevenson

Nature of threat sets intensity of retaliation

Who is to decide what an appropriate use of force is ("Ground war in Gaza," editorial, Jan. 7)?

If you are stung by a hornet, do you kill only the hornet that did the deed or do you destroy the nest to protect your family and neighbors from being stung as well?

Israel is doing exactly what you would probably do - destroy the nest, which, unfortunately, in the case of Hamas' attacks, was deliberately constructed around civilian apartment houses in the belief that doing so would make it safe from retaliation.

But if the civilians in Gaza allow rocket launchers to be housed near their homes, they have no one but themselves to blame when the homes are bombed to destroy the rocket launchers.

Maybe they never heard the saying, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."

Elaine Rosenbloom, Baltimore

More bombs, violence still no path to peace

As the carnage continues and death and destruction shower down on Israel and Gaza, The Baltimore Sun is right to call for a cease-fire ("Ground war in Gaza," editorial, Jan. 7).

And it is well to recollect what Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said just last September: "Who thinks seriously that if we sit on another hilltop, on another 100 meters, that this is what will make the difference for the state of Israel's basic security?"

Mr. Olmert had it right when he called for radical new thinking.

After 60 years of bombs and violence that have only brought more bombs and violence, how about practicing the old-fashioned remedy of discussion and forgiveness, led by the United States acting as an honest broker for a change? Fariborz S. Fatemi, McLean, Va.

The writer is a former staff member for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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