Letters to the editor

Extremism the barrier to peace

To the editor:

I find it odd that there is such a negative view of Israel’s actions toward the Gaza Strip. Sousan Hammad’s column, "Gaza goes unnoticed by candidates," (Opinion, Tuesday) lacks some basic facts that justify Israel’s actions. Islamic militants for years have been launching rockets from Gaza to Israel. They fire homemade rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot, and recently the Iranians launched 122mm "Grad" rockets at civilians living in the town of Ashkelon. At the same time, these militants hide amongst their own civilians to avoid the Israeli Defense Forces.

Their disregard for the safety of their own people says enough about their morality. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip to give Palestinians a chance to govern themselves and to prove to the world they deserve a state. Instead of utilizing their resources, Palestinians elected Hamas, a government that preaches the destruction of Israel and strives to fulfill this ideology every day. On the other hand, when Israel was founded in 1948, it took the other path of science, technology and innovation. For example, the technologies behind Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor, AOL Instant Messenger, the first cell phone and much more were created in Israel.

In conclusion, it is devastating when any innocent life is lost and with so much bias in the media, it is easy to point out a scapegoat – in this case the IDF – when the true culprits that provide the barrier to peace are Islamic militant extremists.

Leon Trakhtenberg accounting senior

Israelis, not Palestinians, the victims

To the editor:

I was saddened to see The Daily Cougar publish hate speech in Sousan Hammad’s column, "Gaza goes unnoticed by candidates," (Opinion, Tuesday). It reminded me of the famous "two minutes hate" from George Orwell’s novel 1984.

First, the wording nonsense she used the word "shoah" in Modern Hebrew means simply "disaster;" the wording "HeShoah" is what is used to denote the Holocaust. Sadly, this hasn’t stopped racists and anti-Semites from seizing on a mistake to launch a blizzard of the common anti-Semitic "Jews are the new Nazis" rhetoric.Second, Hammad only offers a small piece of the puzzle in the Palestine-Israel conflict – nowhere does she mention the fact the terrorist groups are hiding their arms in "civilian"†buildings (even hospitals)†and firing rockets from "civilian" areas (including mosques). This ongoing conduct by the terrorists constitutes more war crimes than I care to count under the Geneva Conventions.

Apparently, Hammad wants to ignore the war crimes committed by terrorists: hiding in civilian buildings; shooting at soldiers from behind crowds, launching missiles and mortars from civilian buildings, establishing smuggling tunnels and weapons manufacturing sites under civilian homes, sending suicide bombers to blow up buses and restaurants packed with civilians, using children as shields and living bombs, assaulting humanitarian aid caravans and stealing the items meant for civilians, disguising themselves as civilians, using ambulances†as a taxi service to carry around weapons and military personnel and even shooting children themselves and trying to frame the Israeli army for it.

Michael Ahlf
UH alumnus

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