Israel in "all-out war with Hamas" | Dec. 30, story
Israel is acting in self-defense
Israel is in an "all-out war" to stop attacks from Hamas rockets that have been raining down on the civilians of southern Israel for eight years. More than 100,000 Israelis live with the daily terror that strikes with the warning sirens they hear in Sderot near the Gaza border, and now deeper into Israel in Ashkelon.
For eight years the civilian population of southern Israel has lived a terrible routine of rockets and mortars, a routine that has caused the loss of many lives, hundreds of wounded, and countless cases of trauma. This is aside from damage and destruction to hundreds of homes, businesses and public properties such as schools and day care centers. Life has become unbearable for the residents of southern Israel and their children who have grown up with sirens and "red color" alerts.
Extremist Hamas sympathizers are launching a worldwide campaign against Israel, misrepresenting the situation. These are the facts: Hamas has been targeting civilians in Israel. Israel is pinpointing Hamas targets.
Unfortunately Gaza is very crowded and the terrorist cowards choose to hide among the civilian population to use them as shields and propaganda tools.
Terri Tankel, Dunedin
Stand up to Israel
The current aggressions of Israel against Palestine should have everyone questioning their views toward Israel. I am currently living and teaching in Syria, and therefore able to watch the current massacre without the censorship of Western governments and press.
I sit with a heavy heart, tears in my eyes, questioning humanity. People are dying in Palestine, not only from the airstrikes, but also from hunger and lack of medical attention and supplies.
Israel is not only bombing innocent civilians, but also blockading all checkpoints, preventing water, food and medical supplies into Gaza.
It is time that the democratic world re-evaluate its relationship with Israel. Until Western governments stand away from Israel, tell them the truth, and refuse to continue their relationships, this massacre will continue.
Mark Grantham, Gulfport
Israel in "all-out war with Hamas" | Dec. 30, story
Where are the calls for restraint by Hamas?
In this article, the United States is asking Israel to not kill civilians. Who is asking Hamas to not kill Israeli citizens?
Are civilians in Israel different than civilians in Gaza? How can one avoid certain people in a time of war when all people are vulnerable?
Hamas is bombarding Israel with 70 rockets a day and Israel is being asked to be careful of who it hurts. Who is asking Hamas to be careful of where it aims its rockets and not to hurt citizens in Israel? Where are the mobs of people standing up for Israel while it defends its people against those Gazan terrorists?
Hamas needs to be taught a lesson, and if Israel is the one to do it and no one offers help, then so be it.
Judith M. Stevens, Clearwater
Israeli assault on Gaza kills 230 | Dec. 28, story
The real aggressors
This headline screams "Aggressors," when in reality Israel is defending itself from the constant barrage of rockets that Hamas has been lobbing at Israel.
The worldwide community should be condemning Hamas instead of worrying about a few Palestinian citizens whom Hamas is cowardly using as shields. Hamas won't even allow the wounded to leave for treatment in Egypt. Please try to write more accurate headlines on this confrontation.
David Meyer, Bushnell
Israel has declared an "all-out war" against the refugees of Gaza. That is an oxymoron. As the occupier of Palestine, Israel remains in total control of the Palestinian people in food, fuel, transportation, employment, commerce and agriculture.
Since Israel broke the truce with Gaza in November, the reaction has been "tit for tat" by both sides. In the current so-called "war," the Israeli army, navy and air force (supplied and paid for by the United States) are targeting "militants" living in refugee camps with their families while the Gazans, fighting for their independence, respond with rocket launchers, guns and rocks.
Naturally the U.S. government blames the Hamas government of Gaza for this "war" because the occupied Gazans are fighting for their freedom against the staunchest ally of the United States in the Middle East: Israel.
Arthur Hebert, Largo
End rocket attacks
The Palestinians of Gaza should know that Israel wants peace. What other attacking nation makes phone calls to the civilian population to warn of an impending attack?
In order to stop this attack all the Palestinians have to do is stop the missiles from being launched into Israel. They know who is doing this: their own sons, their brothers, and their fathers
Stop the missiles! I wonder how people would feel if St. Petersburg started shooting missiles into downtown Tampa — same difference.
Burt Yellin, Sun City Center
Terror suspect gets 15 years | Dec. 19, story
A welcome sentence
I want to applaud U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday for handing down the maximum sentence to Ahmed Mohamed in this widely publicized terror case.
I am sick and tired of these radical Islamic students taking advantage of our democratic society to come here and learn in our schools and universities, use our freedoms, and the plain joy of living in our free country and then using it as a cover for their devious and evil plans.
Of course when they get caught, they say, "I'm just a student and I'm getting picked on for being a practicing Muslim."
The YouTube video on "how to make a remote controlled bomb out of a toy truck," as well as other evidence, was plain as day to me. This was a violent young man who wanted to bring death and cause panic to Americans and their soldiers abroad.
Adam Rothenberg, Palm Harbor
First lady, Rice defend Bush from critics of his presidency | Dec. 29, story
Dismal domestic record
While it's certainly no surprise that first lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are defending the president's legacy, it's very interesting to note that they are praising his feats in foreign countries while being careful not to mention his dismal record here at home.
Rice praises Bush for "really insisting on good governance and fighting corruption" in return for foreign assistance. Too bad he has totally ignored those same issues here in the United States.
She also feels he has done a great job in laying the groundwork for a Palestinian state, and we can see how well that's going.
And Mrs. Bush "highlighted the president's work to provide treatment for diseases like AIDS and malaria to millions in sub-Saharan Africa." Meanwhile, millions in this country have no health insurance and insufficient medical care.
Perhaps the president should have concentrated more of his efforts to cure the problems we have at home!
Bob Lindskog, Palm Harbor