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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 18, 2009 at 4:08 PM

War in Gaza

Majed Hamdan / Associated Press

Palestinian firefighters and United Nations workers work to try and put out a fire and save bags of food aid at the United Nations headquarters after it was hit in Israeli bombardment in Gaza City, Jan. 15.

Everyone a maven

Editor, The Times:

It seems hardly a day passes where Israel, in its current battle in Gaza, is called upon to engage Hamas in diplomacy. On Jan. 15, The Times delivered an editorial [“As Gaza bleeds”] urging “… the United States to do much more than hold Israel’s coat.” Meaning, since no one has influence over Hamas militants, put all the pressure on Israel to stop the war.

In the same edition, Akiva Kenny Seagan [“Common ground in Gaza begins with a cease-fire,” guest columnist, Jan. 15], a self-described “genocide educator,” finds the current support for the Israeli response “seriously misguided.”

As my mother used to say, “Everyone’s a maven.” In other words, one thinks he has all the answers whether or not he is well-informed.

Israel is at war because no country in the world would tolerate unceasing rocket fire on its citizens. Finally, and understandably, Israel’s response was “enough is enough.” The Israeli government has stated time and time again that it will withdraw its troops from Gaza when an agreement is reached to stop Hamas bombardment and the flow of illegal weapons.

Will Hamas, whose charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, comply with those conditions? If you think so, I have a Space Needle for sale I want to show you.

— Norman Levin, Seattle

A core issue

I write to thank The Seattle Times for accepting the full-page ad from the Arab-American community about Gaza. I am writing this letter on behalf of Sound Nonviolent Opponents of War (SNOW).

Our focus since at least six months before the illegal invasion of Iraq has been that invasion and the illegal occupation of Iraq by the U.S. military. But, we all understand that the occupation of Palestine by Israel, also illegal, is a core issue in the Middle East.

We believe that a just and sustainable peace in this region depends upon the U.S. government playing an evenhanded role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. So, thank you for printing that ad.

— John M Repp, Seattle

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