Israel’s right to defend |

Israel’s right to defend

Dear Editor:

Sue Gray (“The ‘vilest form of racism,'” Jan. 25, letters to the editor, The Aspen Times) ignores the fact that Israel has sent rescue missions to help during natural disasters and wars to Greece in 1953, to Armenia in 1988, to Rwanda in 1994, to Turkey in 1999. During the war in Yugoslavia, Israel granted asylum to a group of Bosnian Muslims, some of whom are still there.

Contrary to Gray’s assertion, Israel’s goal is not to crate a homogeneous Jewish state. The fact is that it has 1.3 million Arab citizens enjoying full rights like all other citizens.

Gray should keep in mind that Hamas has declared war on Israel and is doctrinally committed to its destruction. It does not fight to end the occupation, it fights to end Israel’s existence. That is why, after Israel left the Gaza Strip, to the last inch in 2005, Hamas did not stop its war and fired thousands of rockets, designed to kill, at Israeli towns and villages.

No state can be expected to tolerate the launching of rockets at its citizens. Israel is no exception. That is why it reacted. And it did all it can to minimize civilian casualties. Israel could have used carpet bombing to eliminate its enemies in Gaza. This would have spared the lives of Israeli soldiers but would have brought the death to many tens of thousands of innocent civilians. Israel did not do that, precisely because it wanted to minimize the civilian casualties. Hamas has located its rocket-manufacturing workshops in houses occupied by families, it stored arms and ammunition in private homes, it hid rockets in mosques, it fired its rockets from densely populated areas.

The suffering of the people in Gaza is the direct result of the war waged by Hamas.

Hamas is committing three war crimes – targeting Israeli civilians, using Palestinian civilians as human shields, and seeking the destruction of a member state of the United Nations.

Israel will continue to defend its citizens, if Gray likes it or not.

Jacob Amir


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