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Killing Hope: Why Israel Targets Sports in Gaza

Slanted reportage

Nice unbiased article. You say the Israelis “promised ‘collective punishment’ ” but attribute the quote to no one in particular. In point of fact, it’s usually a term employed by groups critical of the Israeli blockade and not by Israeli leadership. You also quote Matan Vilnai out of context. What he actually said was, “The more qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves,” he said. Not saying that I agree with what he said—and he should not have made reference to bringing a shoah—but the larger point was that Israel would defend itself against escalating terrorism out of Gaza, something that it has every right to do.

But worse, the quote is from 2008, and on top of that Matan Vilnai is not currently, as you report, an Israeli deputy defense minister. While he was in 2008, he is currently the Israeli ambassador to China. And “Gilad Sharon, son of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon” is just that, the son of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He’s not in the government and is little more than a right-wing mouthpiece unworthy of attention.

You also dismiss, with a wave of the hand, Israel’s statement that it targeted the stadium because it was being used as a missile launching site, as if that’s a mere irrelevancy. Hamas and its affiliates use mosques and schoolyards as launch sites, so why not a football stadium?

The Israeli action is about stamping out terrorism, plain and simple. As the late Golda Meir said in 1957: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” It’s as true a statement today as it was then.

Howard Barr

[somewhere in] Maryland

Nov 20 2012 - 2:49pm