Letter: Israel has a right to defend itself

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The letter "A proposal for peace in Gaza" [Dec. 7] omits certain important facts. If Israel were to "pause" before Iran's munitions and machinations, the Jewish nation would most certainly be destroyed; Iran has promised to do so.

The "horrifying toll" the writer says Israel's defensive actions have taken on the people of Gaza is minimal when compared to what any other nation would certainly have done after its citizens were victimized by continuous missile and rocket attacks. Israel did not simply act in a vacuum. The fact is that Iranian and Sudanese military experts assisted Hamas. The frequently used Hamas tactic of placing missile launching sites on civilian rooftops, and in schoolyards or even hospitals, did nothing to reduce civilian casualties.

The writer claims inaccurately that Israel's foreign minister called for "ethnic cleansing." On the contrary, Avigdor Lieberman's plan suggested an exchange of populated areas so that Jews and Arabs each can live within their own borders.

The quote attributed to Israel's interior minister was widely disseminated, but without elaborating on his complete meaning. Minister Eli Yishai tried to convey the concept that only by destroying Hamas' military infrastructure could Israel hope for 40 years of peace in the region.

Allan E. Mallenbaum, Plainview

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