Letter in The Age: Under threat

Under threat

The Age – July 25 2014


Your editorial (”Might overwhelms the right to defend”, 23/7) was inflammatory. Hamas, a terrorist organisation proscribed by many nations, including Australia, initiated this conflict by escalating rocket attacks across Israel. It rejected Israel’s overtures to de-escalate, as well as three Arab ceasefire proposals Israel accepted. Hamas positions its military assets – rockets, launchers, weapons, command centres and tunnel entrances – amid civilian homes and buildings, even mosques, schools and hospitals; a war crime.

Every Gazan civilian killed is tragic, but they are overwhelmingly victims of these callous human-shield tactics. Israel warns civilians of impending strikes by dropping leaflets, texting and phoning. As Bill Clinton recently said, Hamas has ”a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own [Palestinian] civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them”. The partial Gaza blockade, deemed legal by the UN’s Palmer Inquiry, targets only materials with military uses, allowing food, medicine, consumer goods, water, fuel and power. It was only imposed after rocket attacks.

Israel doesn’t want ”ugly vengeance”, as your editorial suggests, but seeks to protect its people from Hamas’ threatening rockets and extensive terror tunnel infrastructure aimed at killing or kidnapping its civilians.

Mark Leibler and Colin Rubenstein
Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council