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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 7, 2009 at 4:00 PM

McKenna on Israel: Did state AG overstep his bounds?

Conveniently ignoring facts about Israel’s self-defense

Seattle Times columnist Bruce Ramsey’s anti-Israel diatribe and subtle threat to Attorney General Rob McKenna [“McKenna’s Middle East adventure,” Opinion, column, Sept. 1] reeks of his bias.

His lack of insight regarding a country’s right to self-defense suggests a moral lapse in honest judgment. Obviously, by means of his twisted thinking, he would prefer that any brave soldier defending their country should use weapons comparable to that of the enemy in order not to kill too many of them.

A very sick logic he uses to infer that Israel, without provocation, disproportionately killed too many of the enemy. Killing more of the enemy is normally the object of any war, especially a war Hamas has openly declared against Israel.

Ramsey conveniently fails to mention that thousands of rockets were rained down on Israeli cities for two years before the Gaza invasion and that Hamas was warned over and over of the consequences if they continued. Ramsey fails to mention the blockade was to stop suicide bombers from entering Israel by a government run by Hamas, a government that has declared the intent to kill every Israeli as well as all infidels.

Ramsey has conveniently gone out of his way to avoid the truth. No doubt an intelligent man like McKenna will follow his own conscience and will not be threatened by a biased columnist who lacks common sense.

— Jack Kalman, Bellevue

Wounds run deeper than flesh from Hamas rocket attacks

Bruce Ramsey criticizes Washington’s attorney general, Rob McKenna, for his forthright opinion that Israel’s war in Gaza was legal.

Ramsey argues the war was disproportionate because 1,400 Palestinian (mostly fighters) died, and no Israelis were killed during the preceding four years of Hamas rocket attacks.

Ramsey fails to mention that the Hamas rockets targeted Israeli civilians. He ignores the limbs lost, the hospitalizations, post-traumatic stress disorder and scores of homes, schools and day cares destroyed. He omits that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and escalated its attacks with more powerful rockets and with greater range to strike Israel’s cities. Israel’s border closings were not a provocation but a defense and were not very effective due Hamas’ smuggling tunnels on the Egyptian border.

To be proportional, would Ramsey argue Israel should have fired missiles at civilians in Gaza?

In the 9/11 attacks, 2,750 Americans died, yet more than 106,000 Iraqi have died in our Iraq war. Eighteen American soldiers died in one day in Somalia, but they killed 1,000 to 1,500 Somalis that day. Did we act with disproportionate force?

If Seattle were under missile attack from Vancouver, B.C., would Ramsey advocate waiting until someone died before our military took action? If not, then why does he apply a double standard to Israel?

McKenna has the integrity to be consistent. If he ever runs for U.S. Senate, he deserves our vote.

— Cliff Godwin, Seattle

For Israel, the same standards held for U.S.

It was nice to see someone is holding our politicians to task and asking them these important, albeit inconvenient, questions. In a time where blind, unthinking support for Israeli actions, no matter how extreme and unjustifiable, seems to be the norm, it was very refreshing to see someone ask some reasonable questions and get some solid answers.

We should not grant Israel any more an immunity than we grant our own country. If we ask ourselves whether the U.S. went too far and killed too many and tortured when it should not have, then why should we offer Israel carte blanche on it sanctions, especially when they cause the death of thousands of civilians.

Kudos to Bruce Ramsey for calling out Rob McKenna on his blind and unthoughtful actions.

— Tarek Dawoud, Redmond

Comments | More in Foreign policy, Israel


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