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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I have been following the Israeli war in Gaza closely. I opposed the Iraq War and was an in-service war resister and active protester with Vietnam Veterans Against the War. I saw excess in the war onto Panama City, where many civilians were killed; I was aghast at the killing of the Iraqi soldiers after they were routed out of Kuwait and the bombing of Baghdad, although I did support removing Iraq from Kuwait.

I do support the anti-Taliban and anti-Al Qaeda War in Afghanistan, and the Israeli suppression of Hamas's Qassam rockets in Gaza.

There seems to be no middle ground between a cease-fire and all-out war. Hamas's vision is to create an inhuman situation so dire as to inflame the entire world against Israel. Why cannot Egypt blockade the eight-mile desert border with Gaza, to prevent smuggled contraband? What other option does Israel have?

The controversial wall that Israel built stopped the suicide bombers. Now West Bank Palestinians have to consider other options, so they keep on living. The Palestinian Authority is their best hope for peace and an emergence into progress, improved living standards. If they begin making rockets inside the West Bank through a Hamas insurgency, more suffering will happen to them.

Israel is a renaissance state and the Israeli people are a Spartan martial people, like the North Vietnamese. They will not be denied. I am supporting Israel as the best hope for progress and sanity in the Middle East. A dysfunctional Hamas in power in Palestine is not acceptable.

Jim Willingham

St. Petersburg, FL

Jan 28 2009 - 9:18am

Web Letter

I totally agree with the web letter from Stanley Hersh. The conflict Israel-Palestine is the greatest problem to resolve for peace in the Middle East and in the world. The entire world hopes that Obama can now change US foreign policy and that the United States will back efforts to force Israel to accept a long-term reglementation and the creation of a free Palestinian State. If Israel will not accept this plan, the USA must stop sending Israel major military support. Former President Jimmy Carter said that "the facts committed by Israel against the Palestinian people are an abomination"! The USA must not back the policy of apartheid and the ethnic purification conducted by Israel against the Palestinians: enough is enough ! Hopefully, the US Jewish lobbby and the neocons will not prevent Obama from doing the good job: "Yes, we can."

Panchaud Jacques

Saint-Légier, Switzerland

Jan 26 2009 - 5:46pm

Web Letter

In the very same manner that "America" only refers to a geographical area, unlike every other country on the face of the earth. Yet we dare call ourselves Americans. Same illogic, right, [letter-writer] M. DuBois?

John Molina

Chula Vista, CA

Jan 26 2009 - 4:12pm

Web Letter

Richard Falk's article starts with the same basic error of premise as most similar apologetic articles. The fact is, there never was a nation or country called Palestine. The term "Palestine" simply refers to a geographical area. It was bestowed by the Romans after the second Jewish revolt and subsequent diaspora, as an insult. It was derived from the Roman term for the Philistines, an ancient enemy of the Jews. Other than the Jews, the people who live/lived in the area of "Palestine" are Arabs. They are socially, linguistically, racially and ethnically indistinguishable from other Arabs living in Jordan.

Dennis DuBois

Amarillo, TX

Jan 23 2009 - 12:14pm

Web Letter

"The Palestinians lack the sort of inspired leadership that Nelson Mandela and other ANC figures provided." While that's true, the reason why peace was achieved in South Africa without a drop of blood being shed was not Mandela alone: two equal simultaneous visionaries on opposing sides were needed, and De Klerk has to be given as much credit as Mandela. I also cannot see Israel ever participating in some existential truth and reconciliation, which was part of the deal in South Africa.The chances of waiting for two equal visionaries in this conflict who genuinely want peace without bloodshed (hardly on the Israeli agenda) may take generations, if ever, and the Israelis won't wait that long anyway because the Palestinian population will outnumber that of the Israelis in fifteen-twenty years, or so.

Israel sees only genocide as an option; one can see its desperation in how it waged the Gaza civilian massacre.

Moreover, it will never feel safe living side by side with the Palestinians; That option has been spent.

I see the only option being if America threatened to cut off financial aid unless the settlements are vacated,but the American Jews will go beserk, and Lord knows we can't face that. International sanctions and a boycott with divestment of Israel is the only remaining option, which worked in South Africa. I say go for that.

stanley hersh

New York, NY

Jan 23 2009 - 1:26am

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