To the editor: It’s pathetic and incredibly ironic that both Jews (Israelis) and Muslims (Palestinians) are fighting each other over a piece of “common ground.” (“Israel sends soldiers into cities,” Oct. 15, and “Israeli prime minister rejects U.S. criticism of ‘excessive’ force,” Oct. 15)
Isn’t this a place where everyone can set aside their differences and come together and appreciate what they share?
It’s time that stakeholders from all sides come together: set up ground rules; allow all perspectives a right to be heard; listen to all sides; make a plan; follow up and follow through. Rebuilding trust will require careful and hard work. There are differences, but they must be responded to with civility, not violence.
People should not have to ask if the Old City of Jerusalem is open.
Genie Saffren, Los Angeles
To the editor: In your article, Sari Bashi of Human Rights Watch and Palestinian officials object to Israel setting up checkpoints and other security measures in Israeli cities to counteract the current wave of Palestinian terror against Israeli citizens.
Bashi claims it would be like taking similar measures in New York to stop “criminal attacks.” Like New York, Jerusalem and other Israeli cities are crowded, ethnically mixed and bustling. However, New York does not have an enemy with whom it has been locked in conflict for decades calling for its elimination. Israel has not only the right but a duty to protect its citizens.
On a recent visit to Israel, I was struck by the intermingling of the various ethnic groups and religions in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Ramla.
Instead of berating Israel, Bashi and her cohorts would do well to urge those carrying out and inciting brutal attacks to consider the consequences and selfishness of their actions.
Pauline Regev, Santa Monica
To the editor: Israel’s sending of troops to suppress discontent over its brutal occupation should come as no surprise, as it is not willing to treat the Palestinians with any respect; rather, it treats them with contempt.
Why is it that our government and Congress pledge unconditional support for this government, which has ignored U.N. resolutions that have condemned its behavior?
Our moral standing in the world has declined because of our endorsement of Israeli government policies. It is time for a clean break.
Joseph Tillotson, Redondo Beach
To the editor: Israel has to make some tough decisions if it is to put down the latest surge of Arab terrorism.
The world is indifferent to the suffering of Israel’s citizens. There will be no “help” from Israel’s “friends.” If Israel hopes to survive, it must take aggressive action.
World opinion must not figure into Israel’s decisions. Survival trumps political correctness.
Brian J. Goldenfeld, Woodland Hills
To the editor: This wave of knife attacks against Jewish Israelis was instigated not by anger over lack of progress toward peace or a Palestinian state but by a completely different, false claim: that “the Jews” are plotting to take over and desecrate the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Your article also reports that there is “a fresh quarrel” over Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ TV speech in which he said that Israel was “executing our sons in cold blood,” as though the details are in dispute.
But there is no dispute. As your story says, “The Palestinian child in the video, however, was not killed; an older cousin who allegedly took part in the attack was.”
Frederick Ephraim Landau, Pardes Hanna, Israel
To the editor: The idea that Israel’s response to the recent spate of violence from Palestinians is collective punishment for individual crimes is one of the biggest frauds of the Arab world.
Palestinians legitimize and encourage such attacks, from their schoolbooks to their hero worship of suicide bombers to murderous incitement from their religious and political leaders. Unfortunately, the media continue to play their part by airing this fraud without questioning it.
Ralph Cohen, Irvine