December 12, 2018

Letters to the editor: The Gaza conflict and cycles of war

United Under Fire

I have always enjoyed reading David Suissa’s columns, but this last one … it really touched me as a Jew and as a human being (“Gaza War: Taking Sides,” July 25). You wrote words out of my mouth — just better than I would have.

Sheila Ellman via email

That all Jews should support and stand with Israel is obligatory to our survival; that we should not question the process, absurd; that we should stop searching for a road to peace with our neighbors, immoral.

Afshine Emrani via

Gaza Truths

Rob Eshman’s column is the most thoughtful, honest and complete evaluation I have seen to date of the conflict in Gaza (“10 Truths About Gaza Conflict,” Aug. 1). I agree with each one of his 10 points. Like him, I fully support Israel but charge them with not making better choices.  

Barbara Bergen via email

War Cycles and Cyclones of Opinion

Excellent analysis, David Myers (“How Many More Cycles of War?” Aug. 1). As many Israeli security experts and others argue, there is unfortunately no military solution to the Israel/Palestinian conflict.

While it now seems more difficult to obtain, Israel needs a comprehensive, sustainable two-state resolution of her conflict with the Palestinians in order to avert increased violence and diplomatic isolation and criticism, respond effectively to her economic, environmental and other domestic problems, and remain both a Jewish and democratic state. Failure to obtain such a resolution will result in a very negative future for Israel, the Palestinians, the U.S. and, indeed, much of the world. 

Of course Israel’s security has to be a major concern in any agreement.

Most people look at the world in terms of good vs. evil, us vs. them, and often demonize opponents. Rather than doing that, I think it is urgent to seek common ground and solutions. It is easy to win a thousand debates, as the Palestinians have often acted irrationally and evilly, but it is important that each side try to see things from the other’s perspective as well as their own, and seek solutions.

Richard Schwartz via

David Myers accuses a large segment of the pro-Israel community of being “moral absolutists,” and of being in “lock-step support” for the government of Israel. I’m sure if Myers ventured beyond his Ivory Tower perch, he would meet many on the right who care deeply about aggrieved Palestinians, perhaps even more than those in his ideological camp. If you truly care about the Palestinians, your goal should be the destruction of Hamas, which is the true cause of the suffering of Palestinian civilians.

As for the accusation that we are all in “lock-step support,” I find it laughable that anyone could accuse any group of Jews this large of having total unanimity on anything. We simply acknowledge the reality that despite its short-comings, Israel is, by far, the morally superior side in this conflict. That the Palestinians suffer due to the conflict is entirely Hamas’ fault, just as the suffering of the German civilian population was entirely the fault of Hitler and the Nazis.

Justin Levi, Los Angeles

David Myers acknowledges the “odious Hamas charter” but still thinks that Israeli leaders could end the cycle of war with some “statecraft.”  Exactly what kind of statecraft does Mr. Myers think will work with those dedicated to the destruction of Israel?  This sounds like willful blindness.  Regrettably, every time he and his “silent constituency” place sole responsibility for the ongoing Gaza conflict at Israel’s doorstep, without confronting Hamas’ evil objectives, they undermine Israel and the Jewish people.

Curt Biren, Santa Monica


In the article “Criticism of Israel’s Gaza Offensive Expressed in Two Rallies” (Aug. 1), the correct name of the Friends of Sabeel’s Los Angeles chapter member who was quoted is Tony Litwinko. In the same story, Dorien Grunbaum was misquoted; the correct quote is, “I understand that Netanyahu knew that the three teens had died and kept it a secret, did not let that out, so he could enrage the Israeli public …”

A Calendar item in the Aug. 1 issue mistakenly identified the German composer Max Bruch as Jewish. He was Protestant.