When we sweep aside all the rhetoric and public relations on both sides of the latest Israeli-Palestinian hostilities ("Israel has right to self-defense," July 14), what stands out plainly is how ridiculously one-sided the conflict is.

In its aerial offensive, Israel has hit 1,100 targets in tiny Gaza, killing well over 100 and injuring more than 900 with two-thirds of the dead being civilians, as admitted by the Israelis. How many deaths have the Israelis suffered? From what I have heard, through NBC's Saturday night newscast, none, and the 400 Hamas rockets that have managed to get through the sophisticated Israeli defense shield have caused "mostly light injuries."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now elected to invade Gaza. If the "collateral damage" of those dead civilians isn't enough, Israel's boots on the ground will surely bring the terrorists around, right? Let us hope those forces show restraint because images of Syria's shattered Aleppo are fresh in our minds.

Hamas surely has gotten out of line, and the Palestinian leadership must rein in its extremists. But Israel, on its part, needs a complete overhaul of its approach to Palestine starting with a new premise — that all human life is valuable and a Palestinian life is no less precious than an Israeli life. When the hostilities subside, what lesson will this bombardment of Gaza have taught Palestine and Israel both? That firepower and bullying and overreaction breed constantly growing waves of resentment and Israel-hating terrorists that will endure in the Near East for generations to come.

Bruce Knauff, Towson

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