Israeli actions were legitimate
The article “After three Israeli teens found dead will the revenge cycle be ratcheted up?” misinterpreted the conflict between Israel and the West Bank region (CSMonitor.com, June 30; see page 10 for a related story).
Far from being “collective punishment,” the actions taken by the Israel Defense Forces in rounding up people suspected of complicity in the kidnapping were entirely legitimate methods of gathering intelligence relating to the location of the three kidnapped teens.
The violence between the IDF and the West Bank or Gaza is not a “revenge cycle,” and the casualty figures cited in the article, reflecting a higher number of both young victims and Palestinian dead, ignores a critical factor: When the Palestinians fire rockets from Gaza, they don’t target military installations; they target residential areas. In other words, they aim deliberately at civilian targets.
When the Israelis fire back at Gaza, they deliberately target rocket launchers and Hamas fighters responsible for launching rockets at civilians. This is a purely defensive action that any country would take to defend its civilian population. It has nothing to do with revenge and everything to do with protecting its people. Sadly, there are civilian casualties – because Hamas hides its operatives and its rocket launchers in populated areas in hopes that the inevitable civilian casualties will garner sympathetic coverage in the world press.
Student debt’s lasting effects
Regarding the June 23 article “Student debt’s long-armed reach”: Evidently the parents of today’s students who have such large debts were unable or unwilling to save enough money to significantly contribute to their child’s college expenses. The article indicates that it will take these debt-laden graduates longer to acquire assets to buy a home and save for retirement. But it also means that they will be unable to save for their own children’s college education.