To the editor: Occasionally readers submit letters asking what we would do if rocket fire came from Mexico. It's a free country, and we have the right to look stupid. ("Missing in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Courageous political leaders on both sides," Editorial, July 16)
But The Times?
Well, to those who have just awoken from a Rip Van Winkle-like sleep, there are differences between Mexico and Gaza. We have not pushed Mexicans into an overcrowded plot of land in which they are virtual prisoners. We have no blockade of Mexico.
When an American Drug Enforcement Administration operative was killed in Mexico, we did not invade, kill seven Mexicans and imprison 100 more.
And if we knew where real terrorists were in Mexico, we would not warn them before firing missiles to destroy their houses. After all, that would look like collective punishment.
Don Tonty, Los Angeles
To the editor: What's missing from your editorial is the truth. You begin with "Israel bombs Hamas' rocket launchers," implying that Israel instigated the conflict, when in fact Hamas has been sending rockets into Israel for years.
You say that the death toll is "lopsided," with Israelis huddled "in bomb shelters" and Gazans taking "refuge with the United Nations or wherever they can," suggesting that Gazans have an unfair disadvantage. In fact, Hamas uses civilians as human shields.
You say that "both sides' arguments have some merit," implying some agreement with the Palestinian claim that the conflict is due to "the nearly 50-year-old occupation of Palestinian territory," when in fact Israel left Gaza in 2005.
Finally, you ask, "Where are the Israeli and Palestinian leaders with comparable courage and empathy to end the cycle?" This ignores the fact that Israel would like to have peace and security with its neighbors, while Hamas, as its charter says, would like to destroy Israel.
Curt Biren, Santa Monica
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