I commend U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his condemnation of Hamas’ acts of firing missiles indiscriminately into Israel [“Despite offensive, Gaza rockets still hit Israel,” Nation & World, July 14]. However, I am concerned about his objections of Israel’s right to retaliate in force.
Many so-called liberals (and I consider myself one) look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from one side only. They see Palestinian civilians being killed by a well-armed Israel. They should look at the situation from the Israeli perspective also. Israel is a small country with irregular, hard-to-defend borders. It is surrounded by enemies sworn to its destruction. It has been forced, since its inception, to devote a large portion of its gross national product to defense.
Almost immediately after Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, Hamas took over. (Hamas has been condemned as a terrorist organization by the U.S., Israel and many other countries.) It has been firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel since that time. In the last few days, Hamas has significantly increased its attacks. What would most people do if they, their friends and their family were constantly threatened with physical harm? What might Secretary-General Ban, who is a South Korean, do if North Korea began firing into South Korea? I believe he would retaliate with as much force as necessary to stop the attacks. And what would he do if the enemy were hiding amongst non-combatants?
Maybe, as the Israelis have been doing, he would warn non-combatants in advance when practical. To those who do not support the actions of Israel, I would like to ask you honestly what you would do if you were in such a situation.
Ted Coskey, Seattle