Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion

The lopsided military conflict in Gaza [Letter]

How nice to learn that thanks to its "Iron Dome" air defense system, Israel has been spared civilian deaths and all but "minimal damage" by Hamas rockets ("'Iron Dome' worth the aid," July 22).

Also heartwarming is the information that since 2011, with both American parties rallying around Israel, our Congress has approved $700 million to bolster that nation's defense shield.

The icing on the cake, as commentator Robert Pines points out, is that our investment has paid off in another way: Much of the U.S. money going toward Israel's defense will now come back to this country because Israel has agreed to let American firms manufacture the Israeli Dome.

We scratch Israel's back, it scratches ours.

However, Mr. Pines is wearing blinders about the conflict in Gaza. Although he admits that polls show most Israelis want peace with the Palestinians, his essay reveals not the least feeling for — or interest in — the suffering in Gaza.

The reason is plain enough: Israelis, except for the inconvenience and anguish of taking refuge when the sirens sound, have largely escaped serious injury or death.

Now look at Gaza. What is happening there makes a travesty of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's earlier stated aim of keeping civilian casualties to a minimum. As of Thursday, nearly 800 Palestinian had been killed, the great majority civilians, whereas Israel suffered the deaths of 32 soldiers and just two civilians.

Several Palestinians were reported killed in a school serving as a shelter. Boys on a beach were cut down and entire families in apartments have been wiped out. The slaughter looks indiscriminate.

Anyone following Israeli-Palestinian relations over the last 50 years knows that the playing field has never been level. Israel, with U.S. help, has always had a huge advantage militarily and economically. It has kept the Palestinians on a tight leash, cutting off their resources, limiting their entry and exit, bulldozing their homes and settling in their territory.

Moreover, when Israel goes on the attack it overreacts, taking a multiple of Palestinian lives for each Israeli life lost. As Sun letter writer Lena Khalaf Tuffaha recently wrote: "Palestinians have names, mothers and fathers and loved ones. They bleed red like the rest of us."

When the bloodshed ends — and it will — the U.S. needs a serious congressional discussion about halving aid to Israel. Instead of another shortening of the leash on Palestine, Israel needs a paradigm shift toward creation of a viable Palestinian state.

Meanwhile the press needs to focus on the lives and aspirations of Palestinians and how both Israel and Palestine must listen to the peacemakers if they are to thrive.

Bruce Knauff, Towson

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Israel has acted responsibly against Hamas [Letter]
    Israel has acted responsibly against Hamas [Letter]

    The recent letter writer critical of Israeli actions in Gaza ("Israel committed war crimes during its invasion of Gaza," Oct. 1) conveniently forgets the origins of the Gaza conflict and the effort that Israel made to reduce civilian casualties. Hamas for the last eight years has been firing...

  • Why isn't Israel joining the fight against ISIS?
    Why isn't Israel joining the fight against ISIS?

    President Barack Obama's ISIS war plan includes seeking support from Arab nations and others in the battle in Iraq and Syria, but why is Israel sitting the war out when both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and our government have proclaimed Israel to be our staunchest ally? Is it too much for...

  • Hopkins is hypocritical on academic freedom
    Hopkins is hypocritical on academic freedom

    On Sept. 26, an interdisciplinary cohort of students, faculty and staff at Johns Hopkins University answered President Ronald Daniel's call to join the conversation on academic freedom, which he wrote, "deserves dialogue and debate" ("Hopkins welcomes debate on academic freedom," Feb. 26)....

  • Hold Israel accountable for war crimes
    Hold Israel accountable for war crimes

    The Sun editorial, "Horror in Peshawar" (Dec.16), describes the Taliban attack in Pakistan that left 140 children dead and states, "What happened there can only be described as an atrocity committed by murderous criminals." Why didn't The Sun equally condemn the actions of Israel, which...

  • Israel's actions in Gaza were self-defense
    Israel's actions in Gaza were self-defense

    In condemning Israel for finally taking action to counter terrorist and rocket attacks, Ray Gordon ignores the history of the last nine years of the conflict between Hamas and Israel ("Hold Israel accountable for war crimes," Dec. 23). After Israel voluntarily withdrew from Gaza without any...

  • What if Obama spoke to Knesset?
    What if Obama spoke to Knesset?

    I wonder how Benjamin Netanyahu would feel if President Barack Obama wrangled an invitation from an opposition Israeli politician to push the Obama-Iran plan in the Knesset without informing the Israeli prime minister ("Israel spy HQ bucking premier, opposing Iran sanctions," Jan. 23). But...

  • Netanyahu visit: Maybe Congress should delegate all its policy work to foreign leaders
    Netanyahu visit: Maybe Congress should delegate all its policy work to foreign leaders

    Has Speaker John Boehner has a brilliant idea in inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress on the subject of Iran ("Netanyahu invitation unwise," Jan. 27). What else can he do when, apparently, no Republicans in the House have what it takes to address the issue?...

  • Palestinians have more to answer for at the ICC than Israel
    Palestinians have more to answer for at the ICC than Israel

    I must respond to your recent report that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has launched a preliminary probe into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories ("International Criminal Court opens probe into possible war crimes in Palestinian territories," Jan. 17).

Comments
Loading