Your July 15 editorial, "Assault on Lebanon" is a study in the "Now Theory" of politics and history. In the "Now Theory" nothing happened outside the last 24 to 48 hours. In the "Now Theory" the effects of what has gone before have no consequences, and a group's ultimate goal is of no meaning.
The events in Israel and Lebanon and Gaza are about cumulative impact: a year of steady quassam rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel and over five years of attacks from Hezbollah into northern Israel.
The three Israeli soldiers kidnapped by these groups were the last straw but not the cause. Hamas and Hezbollah have as part of their stated goals the destruction of the state of Israel. Hamas is the ruling party of the Palestinian parliamentary council and, in Lebanon, Hezbollah holds seats in the parliament and ministry positions in the executive.
Your reference to "Palestinian groups" whitewashes Hamas, which is an internationally recognized terrorist group. Dismissing Hezbollah as part of the Lebanese government and therefore a mainstream organization is facile and dangerous. The most pernicious organization of our time was the Nazis party in Germany. They, too, were elected. Imagine if instead of appeasement the world had stood up to them before the outbreak of World War II.
Your suggestion that this conflict is an attempt by Israel's new prime minister, Ehud Olmert, to demonstrate his resolve is offensive. Why not look to Iran and Syria for the sinister and underlying causes? Finally, this conflict has nothing to do with the "U. S. preoccupation with Iraq" and everything to do with terrorists attacking the sovereign nation of Israel.
Regional Director Anti-Defamation League Cleveland
It was refreshing to see The Blade didn't mince words in its July 15 editorial, "Assault on Lebanon" because that's precisely what it is. Israel's Ehud Olmert is hell-bent on displaying his "military skills" regardless of who is at the receiving end. The United States has always and continues to oppose each and every effort at the United Nations to condemn such Israeli aggressions. What kind of message is being sent out by our leaders who suggest that Israel should consider minimizing civilian casualties while it is incessantly pounding airport, highways, bridges, power stations, public infrastructures, and residential areas with precision bombs?
There is governmental and public outcry all over the world about North Korea, because it has nuclear capability, and Iran, which wants it. Yet the world has turned a blind eye to the brutal and inhumane actions of the state of Israel, which spares no opportunity to unleash its military supremacy on the people who by a stroke of bad luck (nah, it wasn't by western political design) now happen to be refugees in their own land.
A wise man once said possession of extreme power and a lethal arsenal does not make one mightier; what matters is the sense of safety that people in his/her vicinity feel. We have always stood by Israel, no matter what. Isn't it time we stood by Israel again, this time to stop her from plunging the Middle East into a fireball?
The continuing demand that Israel "respond proportionally" to the Hezbollah and Hamas attacks is further proof of the world's double standard toward Israel. What exactly is a proportional response? Is the world suggesting Israel should kidnap Hezbollah and Hamas militants and demand not only the soldiers' release, but also the thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese who have helped Israel during its 50-year history? This is absurd because any "collaborator" with Israel has probably been murdered by the terrorists with whom Israel refuses to negotiate.
Should Israel indiscriminately shoot rockets into Gaza and Lebanon, using similar weapons fired by the terrorists? This would not work because Israel's moral standards and sanctity for life are based on a love for life rather than frothing hatred.
Or possibly, and more likely, the world would prefer no response from Israel but to endure the attacks within its legitimate, legal borders by an evil ideology, bent on destroying not only the Jewish state, but the Jewish people as well. This would not work because Israel will not allow another Masada, the biblical narrative that tells of Jewish soldiers and their families forced to commit suicide rather than be captured by Roman soldiers.
What will work is for Israel to defend itself against a poisonous ideology. When Israel declared its independence 58 years ago, the attacking Arab countries declared Jewish blood would dye the Mediterranean red. Nothing ideologically has changed since then, only the means of destruction are different.
Unless the world is willing to confront the xenophobic ideas espoused by Islamic extremism and actively combat these beliefs, the entire world might wake up one day to a chemical or nuclear holocaust, and it will then be too late for a proportional response.
I am concerned about the way the word "terrorism" is thrown around by the media and politicians since 9/11. First and foremost, acts of terrorism are violence and aggression against civilians, including acts of inhumane injustice. This is not an opinion, but the definitive definition of all dictionaries, including English dictionaries. Since the taking of Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah on the Lebanese border, politicians and the U.S. media have described the action as a "terrorist act."
For more than 20 years Lebanese citizens, including women and teenage men, have been abducted and forced into Israeli prisons. They have been there without charges or any judicial process. What other way are the Lebanese to get their brothers and sisters back home to their families? What Hezbollah did was indeed not terrorism, but an only option of trading Israeli soldiers for Lebanese civilians, which has been done in the past. For the true meaning of terrorism, look no further than the Israeli military, and our tax money financing it. There has been conflict in that area for years.
Wonder why there is such dissatisfaction with U.S. policy by Arabs in that region? It is simply the military aid for Israel, which feels like it can do whatever it wants to poor Arab civilians. Military aid will be our demise. If your two kids could not get along, would you give one of them a gun? How can we ever be perceived as a leader for democracy and peace by the world when we're giving ruthless governments our F-16s, tanks, satellite missiles, nuclear weapons, etc. For the average American wondering why they hate us, look no further than our history of support of the Israeli government.
Whiteford Center Road
A young man told me that he had submitted 30 resumes before he got a job. I told him that when I was his age I could quit my job, walk across the street, get another job, and go to work the next day! OK, so I exaggerated a little. But not much!
Last year a grandson accepted an engineering job at a new Hyundai plant in Georgia. His sister is married to an engineer in Charlevoix, Mich. His brother is a forest ranger stationed in Huron, Ohio. A granddaughter who graduated from BGSU with a teaching degree has accepted a job in southern Ohio.
Young talented people go where the jobs are! I only worry that 20 years down the line my great grandchildren will have to go to Canada, Mexico, or the Pacific Rim to get a job.
Time and experience will reveal the full benefits of the University of Toledo and Medical University of Ohio merger.
I don't believe it would have happened but for the unselfish leadership of former UT President Dan Johnson. He did not allow self-aggrandizement or the desire for personal gain to interfere with doing a good and right thing.
I am inspired by his brand of public service.
Administrative Judge Lucas County Juvenile Court
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