Letters: Blame game in Middle East

Palestinian men inspect the remains of a building Palestinian men inspect the remains of a building after it was hit by an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on Aug. 9, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded targets in Gaza, a day after killing at least five Palestinians, and militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel after attempts to extend a three-day truce stalled. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mahmud Hams

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I thank columnist Cathy Young for the courage to state the obvious, namely that Israel gets an unfair deal both from the media as well as the U.S. State Department ["Israel also fights an unfair backlash," Opinion, Aug. 7].

When an Israel missile mistakenly hit a United Nations school on Aug. 3, killing 10 people and wounding 35, the State Department labeled the attack "disgraceful." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared the attack as "criminal." Not surprisingly, neither the State Department nor Ki-moon waited until the facts could be sorted out.

In fact, Hamas has been launching missiles from sites close to or within UN schools, making them in essence human shields. But the State Department and the UN took the words of the Palestinian PR people to be true, and as usual, no apology for their shameful remarks has been forthcoming.

These destructive, hurtful words against Israel need to stop. Jews around the world are being targeted using the most vile and violent rhetoric. The uninformed and ill-informed fan the flames of anti-Semitism.

Words do hurt. We should expect more from those whose words are directly channeled into the mouths of the enemies of Israel.

I can only hope that Young's honest commentary will serve as a measure to which others in the media will aspire.

Judah Ausubel, Oceanside

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There's an unavoidable and obvious factor that Cathy Young leaves out: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn't have to look far to surmise how this latest confrontation with Hamas would turn out. The 2008 and 2012 Gaza wars were clear blueprints, especially regarding the killing of innocent civilians and children.

Then, as now, Netanyahu says Hamas uses civilians as shields, but that's been known for years. If he had any respect for the lives of innocent people, and his own soldiers, he would have set up negotiations weeks ago instead of repeating the previous disasters.

Israel's military responses to Hamas have been simply reactive. Where is Netanyahu's long-term blueprint for peace?

Anita Sapper, Forest Hills

 

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