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Gaza's plight

September 29, 2007

Re "Israel's war on Gaza's children," Opinion, Sept. 22

Saree Makdisi makes a great argument about the plight of Palestinian Arab children. Unfortunately, he never engages in any soul-searching regarding the Arab role in these children's lives or asks why Palestinians always seem to find a reason to avoid making peace with Israel. Neither does he ask why the Arab world has left these children (and their parents) in refugee camps instead of absorbing them, nor why Palestinian Arabs encourage their children to blow themselves up while murdering Israeli children in the process.

Instead of Makdisi or other Arabs being engaged in open debate about their policies, they are engaged in open hatred and blame. Golda Meir's quote is still right on target today: When the Arabs learn to love their children more than they hate the Jews, then we'll have peace.

Klara Shandling

Los Angeles

When will Americans realize that Israelis have been illegally occupying land that is not theirs for 40 years? Imagine Canada had conquered, say, the greater Seattle area, declared it a military zone and wrecked the thriving society there. Further imagine that after decades of brutal occupation, the occupiers removed their settlers and troops but sealed off all exits and even prevented access to the sea while continuing to terrorize the population with bombs and targeted assassinations. If you were in Seattle, what would you do? Americans of all religious and ethnic backgrounds must educate themselves and speak out against Israel's crimes against humanity. Right now, we're footing the bill for the gradual murder of an entire people.

Emily Wheeler

Berkeley

The equation is simple: If rockets come from Gaza, Gaza must pay the price. Gazans should not expect food and electricity from the people they're trying to murder and maim with their missiles; they should expect -- and they deserve -- nothing but overwhelming return fire. They dance in the streets when there's a direct hit on an Israeli target, yet they're outraged when Israel threatens to stop providing their essential needs. Makdisi magnanimously admits that the rocket attacks are wrong. They are more than wrong; they are acts of war, intended to kill and terrorize as many Israelis as possible. It is only because of their limited capabilities that these ever-improving missiles don't inflict more casualties, but if wishes were weapons, Gazans would have nuked Israel long ago.

Israel must concern itself with defending its citizens, not saving the people of Gaza from the bloodthirsty Islamist theocracy they voted in.

Joel Levin

Valley Village

Aside from an obligatory denunciation of rocket attacks, Makdisi fails to hold the Palestinian residents of Gaza to any standard of self-responsibility. The Islamic jihadists who launch those rockets belong to somebody's families. They live among their fellow Gazans. The Hamas-run civil authorities surely know who they are and how to rein them in, as they have shown in the past. The current rocket attacks must satisfy some political objective of Hamas or they would be stopped. Why does Makdisi not demand that Gazans themselves fix the conditions that spurred the embargo? If the price of rocket attacks is starving children, wouldn't a peace-loving person seek to end those attacks?

Bernard Roth

Santa Barbara

What is clearly needed is leadership with some diplomatic muscle. We need real change with our U.S.-Israeli lobby, which has not helped the interests of Israel or the U.S. There are many in the U.S. with obvious sane answers who don't get heard.

Priscilla Rich

Danville, Calif.

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