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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 6, 2009 at 4:30 PM

The Gaza war

Where is the outrage?

Are Americans so immune to violence that they cannot utter a word against the crimes of Israel in its shock-and-awe assault on the Palestinian people [“Israeli troops cut Gaza in two,” News, Jan. 5]?

We hear only that President-elect Obama is “monitoring” the situation and that President Bush is urging “restraint.” Or that we have only one president at a time.

Why are the media denying the outrage by their weak coverage, their meek editorials or their silence? Why do they deny the underlying truths of the conflict in Palestine?

Why are the leaders of our universities not expressing any outrage over the bombing of the university in Gaza?

Why do our church leaders remain silent on the bombing of mosques?

Why are the members of our Congress and Senate mute on the deaths and sufferings of Palestinians caused by our weapons?

Why do the leaders in the United Nations remain mute on the war crimes of Israel?

Where are the leaders in the United Nations who call for sanctions on Israel?

Where are the jurists and lawyers who call for justice and the prosecution of Israeli war criminals?

Where are the governors, mayors and city council members who support divestment in corporations doing business in Israel?

Where are the poets and writers who are supposed to be experts on the use of words in describing the human condition, the suffering of children, women and men, and the lies of governments?

Where is our common humanity or at least our common decency? Or are Americans so wrapped up in their own little myopic worlds that they can turn a blind eye to suffering?

Where is our sense of justice?

Where is the outrage?

— Barbara & J. Glenn Evans, Seattle

Protest merely propaganda

The pro-Gaza rally and parade downtown on Saturday was just nuts. Such an extreme demonstration of anti-Israeli propaganda being visited upon Seattle is a disgrace. They fool no one.

Where were the protesters while Israel continually begged the international community to stop the terrorism and rocket attacks of Hamas and the random killing of innocent Israeli people. Israel left Gaza long ago.

For years, Hamas has vowed the destruction of Israel and honors no cease-fire agreements, all the while hoping to inflame and enlarge their perpetual war against Israel.

The saddest part is that Hamas was elected and elevated to power by the Palestinian people.

As a man, I pray for the peace of all. As an American, I am not fooled by loud propaganda and disinformation.

— Richard Smith, North Bend

No friend of democracy

Israel must be stopped from invading Gaza to overthrow a freely, fairly elected democratic government of a country.

Israel no longer deserves that which it was granted in 1948. It is time to dissolve the artificially created geopolitical lines of 1948. Israel has abused the privilege. It no longer deserves the protection that was sought for peace since it has become the aggressor in the region now.

Enough already with this blind and ignorant support of Israel in the U.S. Stop trying to defend Israel’s bad behavior. They just attacked and invade a democratic nation and they are wrong. They are no friends of democracy.

These comments are not anti-Semitic, they are anti-Israel the county. This has nothing to do with the religion of the country and people in the U.S. must realize there is a difference between being Israeli and being Jewish. They are not one and the same.

— Michael T. Barr, Sammamish

Ongoing humanitarian crisis

Israel’s current invasion of Gaza is not a “war against Hamas,” as most major media outlets would have the American people believe. And it’s certainly not a “response to rocket attacks,” either. Neither of these analyses provides any context for recent events, and is a disservice to Americans desperately trying to understand the conflict unfolding in the Middle East.

What we’re reading in the news is not simply a “war against terrorists,” it’s a wholesale ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population of Gaza — an area roughly the size of Seattle, but with more than twice as many residents.

In fact, the 1.5 million residents of Gaza have been experiencing a humanitarian crisis ever since they elected Hamas in January 2006. Since then, Israel has frequently imposed sanctions on the population of Gaza, systematically denying them access to food, fuel, surgical supplies, medications and other basic necessities. Chronic malnutrition and a lack of access to vital medical supplies have left the residents of Gaza with few choices but to remain steadfast, or die a slow death. The recent massacre has simply sped up this process.

Now, with more than 430 Palestinian men, women and children killed and 2,250 more severely injured within just a few days, we are faced with a crisis that requires immediate resolution. And blaming Hamas while ignoring Israel’s occupation will not bring peace.

— Alex Becker, Seattle

A nearsighted view

Your editorial on Gaza Jan. 1 [“Gaza, the open wound”] is a myopic view of the half a century of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Your editorial only looked at the past year of the conflict while completely ignoring the sordid history of half a century of occupation. Also, your editorial view is akin to talking about the L.A. riots of 1992 without talking about the Rodney King police beatings, or the struggles of Nelson Mandela without the mention of apartheid.

If Israel is doing right for the Palestinians in the West Bank, is life in the West Bank any better than in Gaza. You fail to condemn disproportionate use of force that has crippled the life of innocent civilians.

— Hyder Ali, Issaquah

What would you do?

The Seattle Times does a disservice to the truth when it editorializes that the Palestinians started the latest killing in Israel and Gaza and that Israel’s actions are those of self-defense. Look back at your own reporting and you will find repeated acts of provocation by Israel, including bombing as recently as November and tightening the siege to prevent humanitarian efforts. If Israel can argue that its actions are in self-defense, so too can the people of Gaza.

Gaza is nothing more than a prison where virtually all human rights have been suspended or severely restricted. Israel has taken the Palestinian’s land, their water, their livelihood and their lives. By ignoring U.N. resolutions and The World Court, and by limiting the issues about which it will bargain (while claiming that it has made generous offers) and while continuing to expand settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Israel has long deprived the Palestinians of all legal nonviolent forms of redress.

Ask yourself what you would do if you were treated like a Palestinian in Gaza.

— H.G. Landau, Edmonds

Comments | More in Middle East

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