To the editor: Apportioning blame is not useful, and I certainly don't write to endorse every action the Israelis have taken, but it's important to take a look at the first principles of each party to this intractable conflict, and I think there's a clear difference. ("At least 52 Palestinians are dead and 2,400 wounded in Gaza. If you're surprised, you shouldn't be," editorial, May 15)
Hamas runs the Gaza Strip, and the group is committed to the destruction of Israel. Full stop.
Say what you want about Israel, but the country has made peace with Arab Muslim neighbors in the past. The elephant that's sat in the room since 1948 is the basic legitimacy of the state of Israel. A few of Israel's neighbors have choked down Israel's existence and moved forward.
Gaza, its government and its people have not accepted that Israel's existence is anything other than a temporary offense that must be obliterated. There is no path to peace when your counterpart demands you commit suicide.
Until that mindset changes, Gaza will be an active menace and existential threat on Israel's border.
Branden Frankel, Encino
To the editor: Peace in the Middle East will never be achieved with the likes of President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power. The trust that must be achieved on both sides and the recognition of wrongs done cannot be forced by hard-liners.
Trump and Netanyahu are fomenting terrorism. Their foolhardiness is making a breeding ground for the young and frustrated youth of Gaza to act out in the only way they may think they can: by becoming terrorists for their cause.
The complexities abound. The world understands the plight of those in Gaza and the very real vigilance Israel must maintain against terrorist attacks and the ever-present hatred by a frustrated, hopeless people.
The responsibility for lives lost, shattered or maimed must be placed on the feet of Trump and Netanyahu. It is they who threw the very hard work of diplomacy away.
Diane Welch, Cypress
To the editor: Although I deeply believe in a strong Israel with Jerusalem as its capital, I wonder how desperate people must be to charge a wire fence, with the other side shooting live ammunition.
Rabbi Marc Dworkin, Long Beach