In the commentary ("Israel's unjust war,http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-palestine-20140803%2C0%2C4657761.story Aug. 4), Adil Shamoo he keeps referring to Israel as an occupying power and says the purpose of the Gaza invasion is to prolong the occupation and confiscation of Palestinian land. Would he please define his terms, particularly "occupation of Palestinian land? If this refers to the existence of the State of Israel, then the only solution that would satisfy Mr Shamoo is the elimination of the state of Israel. This interpretation is consistent with the Hamas charter which calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. Certainly Israel did occupy Gaza, but they withdrew. The only thing they seem to have gained from withdrawing from Gaza was to give Hamas a launching pad for their rockets.

While civilian casualties are to be deplored, Hamas seems to use civilians as shields for military purposes. And I would like to point out that when Hamas sends rockets into Israel, it is not targeting military installations — it is targeting civilians. However, that does not seem to disturb Mr. Shamoo.

Mr. Shamoo has also taken a page from the extreme right wing of the conservative party: "Blame the media": Looking at media coverage, it is possible to say that the media has been pro-Palestinian. The pictures they show are Palestinian casualties, not Israeli civilians. When rockets fired by Hamas destroy Israeli property or kill or wound Israeli civilians, these pictures are never shown.

Clearly, a two-state solution, which was proposed by the U.N. in 1948, is the only equitable outcome, but both sides have to recognize the right of the other side to exist. However, when Hamas revises its textbooks to deny the existence of the state of Israel, there is no basis for negotiation.

Bernard Rabin, Baltimore

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