Re "Conflict in Gaza: bloodshed continues," Jan. 5
There's only one word to describe a government (Hamas) that assaults a neighbor (Israel) with rockets, then complains about unfair retaliation when the neighbor uses its overwhelming firepower to try to stop the rockets.
The word is chutzpah.
Marina del Rey
Israel has every right to stop a neighbor from bombing it. In fact, Israel should have stopped Hamas 100% when the first bomb fell years ago. Instead, Israel had patience with Hamas, an organization famous for murdering innocent women and children. No other country would allow a neighbor to bomb it, and it's hypocritical to ask the Israelis to allow Hamas to bomb them without a devastating response.
Israel continuously aims exclusively at military targets, while cowards like Hamas and Hezbollah place their own children in harm's way as human shields. Palestinians make no effort for peace.
Israel's tactics in Gaza are not only indefensible from a humanitarian standpoint, they are shortsighted. With each heavy-handed blow, Israel surrenders the moral high ground to Hamas and creates a recruiting tool for every Muslim extremist group throughout the world -- thereby squandering any hope for peace in the region.
The only way for Israel to have a secure future is through a negotiated solution to the conflict with the Palestinians.
So the key question is: Does the Gaza war improve Israel's long-term (or even short-term) situation? How will the hatred, bereavement, pain and desire for revenge that will come from the Israeli attacks bring the parties closer to a negotiated agreement?
Might it not have been better to induce Hamas to stop the rocket attacks on southern Israel by ending the blockade imposed when Hamas won the Palestinian election?
Or was Israel's aversion to making the compromises that peace will require, and hence its desire to again put off serious negotiations, Israel's underlying motivation for the attacks?
La Habra Heights
I happened to go by the federal building in Westwood recently and saw 50 to 100 pro-Israel supporters waving Israeli flags.
I was left wondering: What are they cheering and marching in support of? The murder of families in their homes? Another brutish display of their military might over a subject population? Israel's influence on U.S. policy?
There is nothing to celebrate about the heinous military action Israel is currently inflicting on the civilian population of Gaza. Is it not enough that Israel has tried to starve -- economically and literally -- the population there?
Israel needs to be compelled to stop this election-cycle killing and make a deal for peace.
It is frustrating to see Israel's aggression against the Palestinians portrayed as a war between Israel and Hamas.
Israel's recent attack on Gaza is a continuation of more than 60 years of ethnic cleansing.
What Palestinians want is freedom from an illegal, murderous occupation. When the occupation ends, Palestinian resistance will end.