Reconsidering who is to blame for continuing aggression and arrogance in the Middle East

I read with utter disbelief Mr Stavros Lygeros’s editorial «The arrogance of power» (July 14) wherein he places the entire blame for the Middle East conflict on the Israelis and suggests that the Israelis are exercising too much power. The facts do not support Mr Lygeros’s position at all. What Mr Lygeros fails to mention is how the governments of Iran and Syria are fully supporting the militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah to deny the Palestinians and Israelis any opportunity for peace. He fails to mention the fact that Hezbollah and Hamas are attacking Israel on a daily basis in violation of a peace accord reached by the Israelis and the non-militant Palestinian leadership. He also fails to mention that 11 months ago Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, dismantling its military bases and dislocating the over 7,000 Israeli families that had lived there for years in order to achieve peace. The Israelis followed through on the peace accord. Sadly the Palestinian leadership did not. Lygeros fails to mention that Hezbollah has used Lebanon as a base to continue daily attacks on Israel and undermine any chance for a peace. He fails to mention that the president of Iran has vowed to destroy Israel and continued to fully arm terrorist groups toward this end. Israel today is taking severe and proper action against Hezbollah in Lebanon in order to destroy its leadership and to weaken its ability to carry out attacks. Lebanon had promised Israel to rein in the militant groups but has failed. Israel is going to help them finish the job and the world should be glad for that. But typical Europeans – «the appeasers» who failed to stop the Jewish Holocaust – are again siding with a most despicable enemy, the terrorists. Shame on you, Mr Lygeros. ANTONIS MARINATOS, Jacksonville, Florida. The commentary by Stavros Lygeros in your July 14 edition is, I hope, merely one person’s opinion. Were Athens the target of Turkish missiles, would the government of Greece first appeal to Istanbul to please stop? Or would it seek to put an end through military means to the aggression? Were Greek soldiers kidnapped and held by Turks crossing the border, held for ransom, in an act of war, would the government of Greece ask: «May we have them back, please?» I think not. There is arrogance here, of course. It is the arrogance of those who are on the side of murderers and thugs. Mr Lygeros should think before he types silly things. PETER GALLAHER, Nashua, New Hampshire. Stavros Lygeros’s piece is unbalanced and thoughtless bluster.  Did he write in this way about Russia during its invasion of Chechnya, of Sudan’s crushing of its own population in Darfur? Hezbollah has deliberately triggered this conflict by crossing internationally recognized boundaries, seizing troops and holding them for ransom publicly. Since Hezbollah is part of Lebanon’s coalition government, this is reasonable casus belli in international norms. The deliberate rocketing of civilian areas and the death and injury of citizens this causes only confirms this. Instead of reflexively engaging in hostile Israel-bashing remarks, Lygeros could have more profitably spent his wasted ink on highlighting the real culprits – Hezbollah, and their puppetmasters Syria and Iran. Even the Saudis have, at least obliquely. CHARLES SOPER, UK. Mr Stavros Lygeros has a very simplistic, naive view (re: «The arrogance of power,» July 14). How can this be a political problem when the Hamas government and the majority of Palestinians and Arabs have stated in very clear words and actions that their main objective is to eliminate Israel and by logical extension of this objective… kill the Jews. How do you negotiate with a government or representatives whose official ultimate goal is to exterminate you? ERNIE KARKOULY, via e-mail.