Israel must defend itself from hostile Hamas
In regard to the Dec. 29 editorial, "Beyond bombs and rockets in Gaza": This editorial states that, "By moving so forcefully in Gaza, Israel appears to be putting immediate concerns ahead of long-term peace prospects." What other country in the world would tolerate daily rocket attacks on its civilian population without responding through military decisiveness?
After eight years and more than 8,000 rockets landing in communities near Gaza, Israel finally made the only logical decision to protect its citizens, namely eliminating strategic Hamas military targets through pinpointed strikes. Since Hamas has repeatedly vowed to fight until Israel is destroyed, "peace prospects" unfortunately can't be included in the current lexicon.
The editorial on short-term warfare sacrificing long-term hopes for peace misses a very important point: Hamas has no interest in any kind of peace with Israel. The Hamas Charter, in Article 7, calls not only for the extermination of Israel, but also of all Jews living there.
As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. It would appear that only Israel is on the dance floor at the present time. That being the case, Hamas should be crushed as soon as possible, before aid from Iran strengthens them.
New York City
Regarding the Dec. 29 article, "Gaza: Why Israel and Hamas are trading rocket fire": Israel has been very patient for over a year as rockets and mortars from Hamas-controlled Gaza rained down on Israeli cities. However, the recent major escalation required a firm answer against a foe that has sworn to destroy Israel.
There is no solution to a conflict when the unswerving goal of one of the combatants is the destruction of the other. If Hamas changes its charter and concedes that Israel will continue to exist as a sovereign state, then negotiations will be possible. Until that time it will be war-war, not jaw-jaw.
Silver Spring, Md.
Hamas rockets usually cause minor structural damage, but Israel, in just its first day of reacting, killed some 250 people. This is a sad scenario recalling other, similar Israeli overreactions, including its invasion of Lebanon in 2006 and its incursion into Ramallah in 2002. Such Israeli actions infuriate the Arab world and increase hatred for the US's support of Israel's "right to defend itself."
Forget that Israel blockaded Gaza, leading to poverty among its population. Forget that Israel settled occupied lands, armed with a largely US-supplied military to crush the Palestinians. Does anyone still wonder why the US is so unpopular in the Middle East?
It is time to settle this conflict by forcing both sides to create a viable Palestinian state and to assure Israeli security.