July 29, 2006
To the Editor:
Re “He Who Cast the First Stone Probably Didn’t” (Op-Ed, July 24):
Daniel Gilbert draws a parallel between the Israeli-Arab conflict and children fighting in the back of a station wagon (“He hit me first!,” “He hit me harder!”).
Though Mr. Gilbert gestures at the possibility that the current warfare might be about something real, his diagnosis is a bad case of station-wagon syndrome: both sides are just getting even, both sides are going overboard, and both sides are childlike in their lack of detached insight.
But Israel isn’t simply settling scores. It is not seeking to calibrate its responses to give as good as it’s getting.
Israel is hitting as hard as it must to achieve its substantive goals: southern skies clear of Palestinian missiles, hundreds of which have landed in its towns; and northern borders clear of the snipers and booby-trappers of Hezbollah, which, since Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, has been cultivating the thicket of missiles pointed south.
(Rabbi) Eitan Mayer
Neve Daniel, West Bank