Wednesday, February 20, 2008

People who hate moderation thrive in Northwest Suburbs

This is the response I received to my column in the Arlington Heights Daily Herald arguing for moderation and fairness and an end to the killing and punishing of innocent people. It only shows that there are extremists and haters on both sides:

Letter to the Editor
Arlington Heights Daily Herald
Feb. 19, 2008

=========== =======
Ray Hanania must think he is really clever with his column "Punishing the people in Gaza feeds extremism" (Feb. 4). He decries that Israel is collectively punishing the innocent majority of Gazans for the actions of a few Palestinian terrorists.

He seems to ignore that Hamas was popularly elected by the majority of Palestinians as their government, which now has total control over Gaza. They are sworn to Israel's total destruction. They are the ones firing rockets daily into Israel or supporting the groups that also are involved. And they claimed credit for Monday's suicide bombing in Dimona as a "heroic act". This is not individual militia men acting independently as Hanania claims.

Where under international law is a country obligated to provide services to and trade with an enemy nation? We have had a trade embargo against Cuba for nearly 50 years. I don't seem to recall Castro ever firing rockets at Key Largo or Miami. We have sanctions against North Korea where people are actually starving to death. And we have sanctions against Iran, which ironically have caused gasoline shortages for its 75 million people. Tehran has rolling blackouts every day now leaving people without heat and electricity. Where is Hanania's outrage over all this?

The wall that Hamas blew up is along the border with Egypt, not Israel as Hanania indicates. Remember, Gaza belonged to Egypt before 1967. They could supply Gaza with all its fuel and electricity. But Egyptian President Mubarek does not want that responsibility so that it remains Israel's "problem".

In fact, Israel directly supplies nearly 70 percent of Gaza's electricity from a power plant in Ashkelon. What other country in the world would be expected to supply electricity to a government which aims rockets at the very same power plant and its employees supplying this electricity?

Hanania calls for peace between two states based on compromise, a very nice concept. Israel has openly accepted the creation of a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and about 98 percent of the West Bank, even though it would mean no Jews would be allowed to live there.

The Palestinian National Covenant calls for Palestine to be an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law. That would mean that Hanania's fellow Palestinian Christians would be second class citizens with less rights than Arabs have as Israeli citizens. He never writes about that situation.

Since Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction and will never negotiate peace with her, the only room for compromise is how fast the Jews are willing to flee Israel. The prospects aren't much better with Mahmoud Abbas' so-called "moderate Fatah." It was his own security forces which were responsible for murdering three Israelis last month. When George Habash, the arch-terrorist leader, died Jan. 26, Abbas declared three days of national mourning. And in November, during the time of Bush's Mideast Summit, Abbas along with all the other top Fatah leaders, declared they would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Steven Peck, Riverwoods
=========== ===================

RAY HANANIA COMMENTS: The Wall was built by Israel, and access in and out of Gaza has been controlled under agreement with and by Israel. It is amazing how extremist supporters of Israel never acknowledge the horrible deeds of their own country. It's always blame someone else. I don't agree. I think there is a growing clarion of voices among Israelis and Palestinians who seek peace and moderation and who are willing to acknowledge their own faults.

No comments: