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Letters: What the Israelis and Gazans are fighting for

November 22, 2012

Re "A failed strategy," Opinion, Nov. 20

Israel's military response to Gaza is not a failed strategy because it is not a strategy at all. It is a tactic, a tactic to get Hamas to stop lobbing rockets into Israel. There is no long-term strategy that will prove successful until Hamas decides it is no longer interested in destroying Israel.

Daoud Kuttab makes sure to mention that Palestinians fled or were forced from their homes in 1948. He does not mention that they fled because of the coordinated attack by Palestinian militias and Israel's Arab neighbors on the then-much smaller Jewish homeland.

As long as Palestinians and other Arab states continue to imagine a Middle East without Israel, there is not much chance of peace or quiet there.

Elliott Oring

Long Beach

Israel will never know true peace with its neighbors simply because it believes it will ultimately win by making living conditions intolerable for the Palestinians.

You would think that a people who suffered greatly themselves in the 20th century would be the first to understand this basic truism — that when a people feel as if they are being unjustly suffocated, the survival instinct to strike back kicks in.

Richard Smith

Huntington Beach

Israel has not "embraced a theory of 'deterrence' with respect to the Gaza Strip."

Israel occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967 after the Arabs failed to drive the Jews into the sea. In 2005, Israel left Gaza as a goodwill gesture. Given the opportunity to develop their own unique society, the Gazans instead engaged in a civil war, with Hamas against Fatah. Then they launched a terror campaign against Israel.

Older Palestinians and Israelis remember the good times, between 1967 and 1993, when everyone crossed back and forth between Gaza, Israel and the West Bank to work, shop and play. Then came the Oslo Accords, Yasser Arafat and terrorism.

The Palestinians are the source of their own accomplishments and troubles, aided by the Arab League and the United Nations, which holds them as welfare clients.

Len Bennett

Deerfield Beach, Fla.

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