To the editor: It is a sad situation that the Palestinians and their sympathizers refuse to confront the underlying cause of their continued misery. ("Israel can't win this or any future conflicts by bombing Gaza," Op-Ed, July 15)
The Gaza Strip has the enviable position of being situated next to two large economies, those of Israel and Egypt. This geographic position, along with its beautiful Mediterranean coast, makes Gaza an ideal location for attracting industry, investment capital and tourism to turn it into a Hong Kong of the Middle East.
When Israel unilaterally disengaged in 2005 and handed Gaza over to the Palestinians, these people were given the opportunity of a lifetime: to build a great economy. Instead, shortly after Israel's disengagement, they chose Hamas to lead them. Rather than focusing almost exclusively on raising the standard of living of their people by pursuing economic cooperation and trade with Israel, Hamas chose to throw rockets at its perceived enemy.
Instead of the usual practice by Palestinians of blaming Israel, in this case for defending its citizens from the relentless rain of Hamas' rockets, Op-Ed article writer Ibrahim Sharqieh should point his finger at the choices that the Palestinians made and the hateful path of misery that they put themselves on.
Joseph Azizi, Beverly Hills
To the editor: Sharqieh misses the key point in the conflict in Gaza and how to end it.
He notes that the war will go on and on until Gazans have open borders and "dignity" in their lives. Fair enough. However, what he and his fellow apologists fail to mention is that Israel has demonstrated many times its interest in peaceful borders, but conditioned on recognition by Hamas and others of Israel's right to exist.
Egypt and Jordan figured it out years ago when they each signed peace treaties with Israel. But since the 1990s, the Arab extremists in the Middle East have consistently missed the opportunity to make peace. In the meantime, Israel has every right to defend itself.
Only when Hamas, Hezbollah and their "colleagues" stop perpetuating hate will the blood on both sides finally stop flowing.
Gary Wartik, Camarillo
To the editor: Our country's unshakable support for Israel should be reexamined as we witness a state with a powerful military force attacking a defenseless and imprisoned population in the Gaza Strip.
The rockets being fired from Gaza are largely ineffective contraptions that have produced one causality. They are being fired in desperation and despair by people whose economy and infrastructure have been destroyed by Israel, and who cannot lead normal lives.
No American would ever permit another country to treat us in the same manner as Israel treats the Palestinians.
Joseph Tillotson, Redondo Beach
To the editor: Sharqieh restates the obvious problems, known for decades, but he's very short on concrete solutions to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And by doing so, he doesn't contribute much; in fact, he doesn't move the ball an inch.
How the age-old dynamics can be changed is missing from the analysis, particularly when each battle digs the hole deeper.
But let's start with this: the group Hamas' long-overdue recognition of the state of Israel.
Anita C. Singer, Laguna Woods
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