When Blair Lee uses the pejorative term “Gaza slaughter” referring to the desire of 85,000 Arabs seeking to leave that enclave (“By heart or by head?”), he fails to consider the origins of the conflict.
When Israel in 2005 withdrew from Gaza, forcing out 10,000 of its own citizens, it assumed that with the resources available, Gaza would turn into a city state, similar to Singapore, and peaceful.
Instead in 2006, Hamas took over Gaza, with its agenda the destruction of the state of Israel. To this end, Hamas started to build up its military capabilities through the next eight years, importing or manufacturing rockets, building a military infrastructure and constructing tunnels for invading Israel, as well as storing military equipment. All of this occurred with the cooperation and vote of the citizens of Gaza.
When Hamas chose to attack Israel with short- and long-range rockets, blanketing all of the major cities in Israel with now over 2,400 fired and a like number destroyed, Israel had no option but to respond, and it did, with every effort to protect Arab civilians who were being used as human shields.
Many Israeli soldiers have been lost in the restrained operation to protect Gazan civilians who are entrenched in areas from which Hamas rocket fire originates — with, incidentally, 10 percent of the rockets fired landing in Gaza.
Slaughter is an inappropriate term when one nation faces a terrorist organization intent on destroying that nation.
Nelson Marans, Silver Spring