Re "In Gaza, fear in the dark," Opinion, July 6
Where is Mona Elfarra's frustration with Hamas, her government, which refuses to even recognize Israel's right to exist? Hamas wants an Islamic state in Palestine, a state that would not tolerate the secularism which many Palestinians have enjoyed in the past.
As for Gaza's poverty and high density, surely a physician like Elfarra knows about the high Palestinian birthrate. As for the Israeli atrocities, when will the Palestinians recognize that Israel is much too powerful to engage militarily? What exactly did the Hamas leadership imagine would be Israel's response to the capture of an Israeli soldier?
Negotiation is the only way to achieve peace in the Middle East. Until that time, Palestinians, and to a lesser extent Israelis, both Arabs and Jews, will continue to suffer.
RONNIE I. COHEN
Elfarra's stories are heartbreaking despite her distorted spin. She fails to mention the constant barrage of Kassam rockets on Israel from Gaza. She denies the significance of the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. She fails to understand that Israel has attempted to disengage from Gaza, only to be brought back because of the Palestinian leadership's seeming desire to remain in constant conflict with Israel.
To paraphrase former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, when the Palestinians learn to love their own children more than they hate ours, then perhaps we will have peace.
Elfarra's brilliant and terribly sad op-ed made me cry. Then, you had to post that piece ("Why Hamas can't let go," Opinion, July 6) by Alan Kaufman, a notorious apologist for Israel's policies. I'm simply unclear as to what you mean by balance.
On the one hand, you print a cry of despair from a person living under occupation in Gaza; then, on the other, you print one from a man who lives in the U.S. and has no clue what is happening to an occupied people and encourages Americans to believe that Israel's actions are just.
To even suggest that the life of one Israeli soldier merits the collective punishment of 1.4 million Palestinians is obscene and one of the most racist responses I have ever read.
Cpl. Gilad Shalit was a member of a tank unit that had been bombarding civilian Palestinians. He is a prisoner of war and is probably being far better treated than the thousands of Palestinians, hundreds of them children, held in Israeli prisons for fighting for their right to exist.