Defends Israel's use of force as response to threats, violence
I read with interest the article entitled "Sticking to the script" by Stephan Lesher, published June 22.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a very complicated and involved subject, and I feel that Mr. Lesher's article deserves some additional comment.
Mr. Lesher complains that whenever anyone discusses the Arab-Israeli conflict, they promise an unswerving commitment to Israel's security. He does not mention that Palestinian and Hamas officials continually profess an unswerving commitment to Israel's destruction.
Mr. Lesher complains that "Israel continually moans and groans about the supposed Iranian nuclear weapons." He dismisses this danger to Israel's existence by saying that it will not occur until 2015. Mr. Lesher evidently thinks that postponing a bad event for four years eliminates the hazard.
He ignores the constant threats by Iran that they will destroy Israel and murder all its citizens.
Mr. Lesher minimizes the abusive firing of explosive rockets against Israeli civilians, stating that only a few people have been killed. How many people have to be killed in this fashion before this vicious act becomes an atrocity?
I wonder, if vandals routinely set off explosives in Mr. Lesher's neighborhood, endangering the lives of his family and their neighbors, would he sit back and say "only a few people will be killed, so why worry."
He condemns Israel's attack on Gaza, but ignores the fact that this attack was in direct response to these rockets. Any nation in the world would take effective steps to counter such constant attacks on its territory and against its citizens. Israel is entitled to do the same.
A brief look at recent history might help to put things in better perspective.
This conflict has its roots in 1948 when several Arab armies attacked the then newly born State of Israel from several directions.
Israel's borders had just been delineated by the United Nations. The Jews accepted the U.N.'s division of the area between Arabs and the Jews, but the Arabs did not.
The stated intention of the attacking Arab armies was to drive the Israelis into the sea and murder all the Israelis. The Arabs have been trying to do this ever since.
The many actions the Israeli government has taken against the Arabs over the years have been done in reaction to constant Arab attacks. Witness the building of a separation be tween Israel and the Arab areas. This separation has effectively stopped the suicide bombers and their attacks against innocent civilians.
Hamas, which is now part of the Palestine Authority, has been listed by the United States as a terrorist organization.
Does inclusion of Hamas in its ranks make the Palestinian Authority a terrorist organization?
There are many thorny issues separating the Arabs and the Israelis. Peace negotiations will be difficult. These negotiations can only begin when the Arabs accept Israel's right to exist and stop their constant attempts to attack and kill Israeli citizens.
We pray this will happen.
Melvin H. Friedman