In his July 20 In Focus column, "Ask Palestine, Israel's Sword Cuts Both Ways," Jim Stoffels advances a distorted view of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Israel's incursions are reactions to missiles launched from Gaza. Earlier, the missiles fell on towns in southwest Israel. The Gazans have more sophisticated missiles this time. Whereas Israel's southwest was the target before, 80 percent of the country is now at risk, including Tel Aviv.
The loss of civilian lives is regrettable. However, it is the Palestinians who put their civilians in harm's way, and if they are harmed, out comes the cameras. The Palestinians best weapon is propaganda and they are masters at it. They are aided by a compliant press and groups like the one Stoffels belongs to.
If the Palestinians cease firing missiles into Israel, Israel would stop its operations. But that won't happen.
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Gaza was an experiment to see if peace could be reached with the Palestinians. Israel completely withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Israel's reward has been a constant barrage of missiles and guerrilla incursions. The Palestinians' goal is the destruction of Israel. If the Palestinians have their way, the only peace for the Jews in Israel will be the peace of the grave.
ROBERT RUBEN, Richland