To the Editor:
In the Jan. 9 forum, "Gaza was suffocated into action on Israel," the writer conveniently fails to acknowledge that Hamas is a terrorist group committed to Israel's destruction, and that the rockets Hamas fires are part of the organization's violent plan to annihilate Israel. The decision to not even mention "terrorism" once in a column that purports to accurately depict the crisis exposes this dangerous misrepresentation of facts.
For years, Israel showed restraint and did not take military action while Gaza was used as a launching pad for rocket attacks. In 2005, Israel disengaged from Gaza, and Hamas violently took over Gaza in June 2007. Hamas has since launched thousands of rockets against cities in Israel's south. Hamas temporarily eased its rocket attacks following an Egyptian-brokered six-month "period of calm" in June 2008, but it did not live up to its commitments. Their military operations continued. They also used this time to smuggle in and stockpile increasingly lethal weapons. When the six-month period drew to a close, Hamas refused to renew the agreement and began to once again fire rockets into populated centers in Israel. Today, more than 900,000 Israeli civilians live within range of Hamas rockets.
Under constant terrorist attack, Israel had no choice but to act to protect its citizens.
As President-elect Barack Obama said when he visited Sderot in July 2008, "If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that." Israel is committed to a peace process with the Palestinian Authority that will lead to two states. Yet Hamas rejects any negotiations with Israel. We all pray for the people of Gaza, the West Bank and Israel to live in true peace, but Hamas has not been allowing this to happen.
Andrew L. Rosenkranz
Florida Regional Director