To the editor: If there is one immutable rule about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is that the Israeli government will remain reactionary as long as the Palestinian leadership remains radical. No amount of handwringing over Palestinian rights will change the fact that Israel's need for security will outweigh any other considerations. ("The two-state solution was nearly given up for dead. But it's still the best option," editorial, May 13)
There will be no "two state solution" or political compromise as long as Hamas, a terrorist organization, has influence among the Palestinians. Yes, the Israeli government has been heavy-handed and insensitive at times, but self-defense is a powerful motivation for the Israelis to keep the peace on their terms.
It is time that foreign affairs observers own up to the fact that humanitarian calls for fairness will fall on deaf ears as long as Hamas embraces violence and bloodshed.
Tim Geddes, Huntington Beach
To the editor: The players change, but the game is the same.
In this current round of weaponized conflict in Israel, the triggers were the eviction of some Palestinian families from the Arab section of Jerusalem to allow settlers to take over, the closing of the Damascus gate in the Arab section, and the storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli forces.
Had Israel not engaged in a series of provocative steps, forces in the Gaza Strip, long locked down and utterly impoverished, would have not responded.
So here we go again, with the first words of the U.S. president in response to the situation being that Israel has the right to defend itself.
Erica Hahn, Monrovia
To the editor: Those advocating a two-state solution in the Middle East would stand on firmer moral ground if they broadened their discussion to include those on Israel's borders sworn to destruction of the Jewish state.
Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon would waste no time in allying with an independent Palestine and likely subverting it, thus adding to the pincers already at Israel's margins. Ditto for Iran in Syria.
While this existential puzzle absorbs Israelis and their supporters, it is strangely absent among those who plead for peace and fault Israel for the lack of progress. The idea that the United Nations can serve as an unbiased architect of peace between these adversaries when its Human Rights Council has fostered the idea that Israel is an international pariah is a nonstarter.
Most of us who support Israel recognize that the creation of a Palestinian state is a necessary but not by itself sufficient step. The issue is much more vast than that.
Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.