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Widening conflict in the Middle East

July 15, 2006

Re "Israel's risky response," editorial, July 14

So you feel that Israel overreacted when soldiers left Lebanon, crossed the border into Israel and killed and kidnapped Israeli soldiers? We know that this was a testing situation. This was an act of war. Israelis had no choice.

As the rockets and missiles flew into Israel, the targets were as precise as the suicide bombers in a crowded market. Israel responded, picking targets and incurring a minimum amount of collateral damage on civilians.

What is a country supposed to do to survive actions promising the total demise of its existence?


Woodland Hills


What is most striking about your editorial on the widening conflict between Israel and its neighbors is the double standard in the language you employ. When Israel's military assassinates militants and imprisons thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese, these acts are treated as legitimate warfare. Yet, when Palestinian and Lebanese militants capture Israeli soldiers, you label this as abduction and kidnapping.

Likewise, when Palestinian militants fire rockets into Israel, this act is rightly labeled as terrorism. But when Israel attacks civilian targets (power plants, water supplies, bridges and airports), kills dozens of civilians and applies devastating collective punishment on Palestinian and Lebanese populations, you and the Bush administration simply label it as "disproportionate" self-defense.

This double standard is a fundamental reason why we have not been able to see our way through to a solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and why, sadly, we have lost the respect of so much of the world.


San Francisco


In all the stories regarding the events in Israel and Lebanon, one item seems to be missing -- no one ever mentions that for years Iran, Syria and Hezbollah have kept Lebanon a hostage.

Perhaps Israel is giving Lebanon a golden opportunity to rid itself of its kidnappers -- all three of them. Perhaps here is the chance for the Lebanese Christians to have their acre in the sun, free of Muslim repression.

A free and democratic Lebanon will make peace with Israel because it would be good for both countries. A border without Hezbollah sitting right on the fence must be eradicated. It can be done, and we all hope that it will be done.

Israel and Lebanon deserve to be friends, free of the awful terror of Hezbollah instrumented by Iran and Syria against both countries.


Los Angeles


Israel's vicious adventurism in Lebanon is threatening to drag the region into war. The Lebanese and Palestinian peoples are compelled to face a multitude of social, geographical, ethnic, cultural and economic hardships that threaten their very existence.

This is Europe's moment to shoulder the solemn responsibility of ending the Middle East predicament by asking Israel to end its organized and systematic annihilation of innocent civilians and its unrelenting disregard for international law, human rights and innumerable United Nations resolutions.




Israel has been under attack and in a state of war with its geographic neighbors since its formation after World War II. In most of the world it is acceptable for one to use deadly force to protect one's life, family and, in some instances, property. To those who would criticize Israel, why is it wrong for Israel to do the same?

On the other hand, the Mideast as a whole has been periodically attacked and ruled by Western countries since at least the beginning of the Christian era. Is it any wonder that most of that region of the world resents the creation of Israel by Western nations?




Israel is being condemned for counterattacking Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon. Lebanon says it should not be condemned for harboring Hezbollah because it is not capable of controlling Hezbollah within the Lebanese borders. Simple answer: Israel and Lebanon join forces and expel Hezbollah.


Hartselle, Ala.


When confronted with Israel's attack on Lebanon, President Bush said that every nation has the right to defend itself. Of course, this does not apply to Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon or North Korea.


La Crescenta

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