To the editor: Your editorial details the arrest and beating of journalist Ayman Aloul by the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip. It states that the "mistreatment of journalists in the Arab world is nothing new, of course." ("After arrest of a Palestinian journalist, a crucial voice is silenced in Gaza," editorial, Jan. 15)
Aloul has bucked under the pressure and the abuse. He doesn't believe that threats by his terrorist government to suppress and hurt him or his family are just blowing off steam.
Can you see any connection between the crushing despotism and brutality of Hamas and Israel possibly feeling a need for a blockade to attempt to control the smuggling of arms and materiel? Hamas has bombarded Israel with thousands of rockets and supported gunmen tunneling into Israel.
Hamas does not just target journalists, and mistreatment of its own citizens in the Arab world is not limited to journalists.
Beth Ruben, Santa Barbara
To the editor: Although your editorial is about the brutal treatment of a journalist in Gaza who dared to speak out about the failings of the Hamas government and the "mistreatment of journalists in the Arab world" in general, you mention that it is where "Palestinians live under a punishing Israeli blockade."
How come you failed to mention the equally punishing Egyptian blockade?
It should also be noted that there was no Israeli blockade at all when the Israelis unilaterally left Gaza in 2005. The blockade was enforced two years later when Hamas, without provocation, started firing rockets on Israel and has continued doing so ever since.
Pauline Regev, Santa Monica