Letters to the Editor: Gaza, Hamas and Kristallnacht

A Palestinian family walks next to a destroyed residential building hit by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, November 13, 2018.
Khalil Hamra/AP Photo

Godspeed the cease-fire

I am in total agreement with your editorial “Prevent an Unnecessary War” (November 13). It is beyond my understanding how two leaders can speak about cease-fires, negotiations and seeking solutions to the ongoing situation, the violence and deaths, and then proceed to kill, send rockets, destroy houses and other property, forcing retaliation with air strikes and more destruction and death.

I wish someone would be able to explain how Hamas is able to build rockets full of deadly ammunition, build huge, deep, reinforced tunnels, find the power to shoot off the rockets, and claim not to have the funds to feed, employ, house and safeguard the people living in Gaza.

Each side claims they don’t want to go to war, and I wish they could be believed. The Gazan residents have seen enough bloodshed and destruction, and the Israeli residents in the South have had enough fires, missiles and other instruments of destruction aimed at them, and they only want to live in peace with their neighbors, as they did before.

Many residents of Sderot told me that they remember going to Gaza for weddings and other happy occasions, and having people from Gaza joining them for their children’s bar and bat mitzvot, weddings, holidays, etc. When will we be able to return to those days?  When will I feel that my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be safe and only have to enlist to serve the country and its people, and not as warriors?

Odeh Bisharat writes that the Palestinians only have God. I believe that all of us need a God that is looking out for all the people and that has the power to stop the hatred, the brutality, and will bring us together as human beings who value life.

Judy Telman

Mevasseret Zion

Israel owes no apologies

There has been too much talk by politicians and analysts about Israel helping restore Gaza economically and physically. Where have you ever heard such an historical absurdity? Let Qatar, the Emirates or Iran to pay for financing their clients’ problems, including food,  just as they have financed Hamas with aid to build tunnels, launch hundreds of rockets, mortars and balloons at Israeli citizens in settlements, towns and cities.

Should Israel apologize to those countries and organizations who feel its retaliation is inordinate? Any sane person could calculate the overwhelming number of civilian casualties we would have sustained had not the Iron Dome been developed to shoot down rockets fired at innocent civilians. Should Israel’s government be blamed for trying to safe-guard civilians while having to possibly sacrifice too many of our finest young soldiers to eliminate this constant threat?

Joshua Wiesen

Haifa

Between Kristallnacht and West Bank raids 

This past weekend marked the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, yet the memory of that night is as vivid as the events of yesterday.

A huge black boot burst through the glass panel of a door behind which my family sought cover – tumultuous shattering and banging had woken us up only minutes before – the boot followed by two SS officers who went on to smash up whatever happened to stand in their way. A terrifying night, never to be forgotten; when it was over, my father had disappeared together with the SS men.

Today we learn of small children being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night, of families driven out of their homes as punishment for the deeds of one member of the family. Did the siblings in these situations in the territories – the fathers, mothers, elderly grandparents of the individual accused of an act of violence – face due process before being condemned to homelessness? And how will the children in these real-life contemporary scenes ever be able to see anything but the personification of evil in every Israeli they come across?

If a play juxtaposing these two scenes – comparing the viewpoints of the children involved – were to be performed by a local theater today, the minister of culture, under her proposed new “cultural loyalty” law, would presumably seek to withdraw subsidies from that theater. Disparaging the honor of the army is the unforgivable sin, not its actions. But the parallel remains, and no laws of censorship can erase it.

Miriam Dayan

Tel Aviv

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