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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 9, 2009 at 3:36 PM

War in Gaza

Getty Images

A Palestinian man rides his bicycle next to the rubble of a house destroyed by Israeli air strikes on January 9, 2009 in Jabalia refugee camp, Gaza Strip.

Arab world, step up to the plate

Editor, The Times:

Where did the refugees that are in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank come from?

In 1948, the new country of Israel became a battleground from border to border. Millions of Palestinians had to flee to save their lives. The Arab world has refused to help absorb or relocate these people, preferring to keep them as a pawn in the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Why is Israel the only country being pressured to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza when there is also access to Gaza from Egypt, but that crossing is closed just as tight as Israeli crossings? Couldn’t the Arab world leaders free up some of their “petrodollars” to help their own people?

The Gaza Strip and the West Bank were captured during one of the many Arab wars of aggression against Israel, but that is not the most important point of the current conflict. In 1948, virtually every Arab/Muslim nation in the Middle East sent millions of soldiers, planes, tanks and sentiments that they wanted to kill every Jew in the new nation of Israel. This has been a recurring problem.

Currently, Hamas has the destruction of Israel and death to all Jews as the main priorities of its charter. Is it any wonder that Israel is on the defensive?

Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaida are all the same: terrorist organizations with no legitimate aims in any country in the world.

— Stuart Creighton, Seattle

What is the objective?

If one considers the military objective of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, it is obvious there is none.

Lobbing poorly aimed rockets into Israel accomplishes nothing but dead civilians and a 100-to-1 retaliation. The military or political value of dead civilians isn’t even worth the cost of purchasing the rockets.

So, what is their objective? To provoke retaliation.

Why would a third-world militia want to provoke a first-world military to attack? The military outcome is obvious: Hamas would be destroyed. Even as Hamas hides among women and children, it knows the Israelis will shoot.

If then, Hamas has no military objective for this provocation, what is their objective? To produce exactly what is happening: Israeli bombing of civilians, hospitals and schools; Israeli ground forces terrorizing Gazan civilians; and worldwide media coverage of the horror.

Thus, a war crime is being perpetrated by Hamas, sacrificing their people to buy the world’s sympathy. Hamas provokes Israel to kill Gazans, which buys sympathy.

The media should stop participating in this war crime. If the trouble in Gaza received no media coverage, there would be no motivation for Hamas to sacrifice Gazans to the Israeli military. A media blackout might win a Nobel Peace Prize.

— Nathan Kirk, Auburn

Time to relocate

In 1967, Israel concluded a short defensive war against aggressor Arab states Egypt, Jordan and Syria. At that juncture, Israel was in control of not only the West Bank and Gaza, but of the entire Sinai Peninsula.

Today, we witness the plight of helpless people who are caught between Israeli tanks and Hamas rockets. The suffering is real and tragic.

But instead of looking to Israel for a solution to this suffering, why don’t we look toward the former aggressors of the Six Day War. Why can’t the Arab brethren of the Palestinian people help?

A casual look at the region reveals that Israel has not much left to give that hasn’t already been ceded since 1967. Yet for many years, rockets have rained down on Israeli cities from these very locations.

Clearly, the Gaza Strip (only about 125 square miles) is problematic as an entity separate from Israel. Palestinians in this region, who don’t wish to be a part of Israel, should relocate to Egypt, Jordan or the West Bank.

Let Palestine be a be made up of the West Bank and 125 square miles of Jordanian soil along the Jordan river.

— Mark Hamp, Lynnwood

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