OPINION

The targeting of civilians in the Middle East conflict

I find the article on the war between Israel and Lebanon by Pantelis Boukalas (Commentary, July 25) very one-sided when he laments the casualties caused by the Israeli bombing. If Israel was not showing restraint in its bombardment then we would have to call the few civilian deaths totally «miraculous.» What confuses me is: what exactly were all those missiles doing in southern Lebanon?  Certainly they were not there to attack Syria, nor could they have been there as protection against Israel. Also why is the population in southern Lebanon made up completely of Shia – Hezbollah sympathizers? What happened to all the Christians in that area? That Hamas and Hezbollah target only civilians should not make one automatically assume that Israel wants to do the same. Israel does show a concern for human life, for if it did not, then there would be no reason for it to have sirens and bomb shelters for its people. It could allow its people to die and continuously show the injured on camera. It would make for great propaganda. Of course, it’s also understandable to any reasonable person that should the fighting cease, as called for by that useless institution the United Nations, the fighting would start again after a certain period of time. Certainly Hezbollah has no intention of disarming. How quickly we forget the words of the late British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who, when returning from Germany where he met with Adolf Hitler, proclaimed that there would be «peace in our time.» I believe that was right before Germany invaded Poland. Oh yes, I forgot about Mussolini invading Ethiopia despite a pact with the League of Nations, and then there was Greece! Peace – a beautiful concept, yet so hard to attain. JEANETTE KOTSONIS, via e-mail. In response to the letter from Ralph Landry (July 26) I would like to point out that if, as he claims, Hezbollah hides rocket launchers next to civilian areas, then the location of these rockets would no longer be a secret. If this were the case, then these rockets would eventually become sitting ducks for the Israeli F16s, which has not occurred. On the contrary, with all the up-to-date military equipment that Israel has, it is facing huge problems in this area. To declare «Shame on you and your (yellow) journalism» is a terrible mistake and shows nothing but narrow-mindedness and bias. N. STEFANOU, Athens.