By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
It is very rare to read in an American paper such a fairly written article on what is actually happening in Palestine. It takes a lot of courage to write an article that will certainly receive a lot of criticism from Zionist zealots.
Ville d'Avray, France
Contrary to what "Shoot to Maim" insinuates, the IDF does not use excessive force. Our soldiers are in harm's way every single day and the threats to their lives are serious and real. They are stationed exactly in the places where they are supposed to be according to our agreements with the Palestinians. They are repeatedly surrounded at these isolated posts and confronted by mobs of people trying to kill them. It is easy to say that crowd dispersal methods used elsewhere in the world should be used in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but the fact is these methods are not applicable. In city riots elsewhere, both sides know that by the end of the day they will eventually return home. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Israel.
We Palestinians living under Israeli occupation simply shake our heads in disbelief at Israel's often successful attempts to paint itself as the victim in this conflict. The Israeli army claims that it has been forced to kill and maim us because of a "very organized and very planned" Palestinian policy of violence. Is Israel honestly suggesting that we Palestinians provoke our own murders in order to appear on the nightly news? Thank you for a story that finally reveals the lie behind Israel's claim of "self-defense" and "restraint" in the face of Palestinian demands for freedom. Until Israel learns to see the Palestinians as human beings equally deserving of the same rights Israel demands for its own citizens, both peoples will continue to suffer.
I found this article disgusting. We all know how the Palestinians send their unarmed young children to the frontlines so when the Israelis are shooting, the bullets will kill them. This obviously gets the attention of the world and especially the media. I believe the Arab population has several political representatives in the Israeli parliament. If the Arabs feel repressed, they can voice their thoughts in a civilized way.
I commend the Voice for its courageous willingness to publish an article about the atrocities being committed daily in areas that are illegally occupied by Israel. That the U.S. government has supported this violation of human rights as well as the Israelis' continued disregard for United Nations Resolution 242which calls for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territoriesshould shame all Americans.
THE JEWISH PERSPECTIVE
As far as I know, Arabs control 95 percent of the Middle East. The Jews defeated all of the Arab nations to win back their homeland. Let's not lose perspective: It's the Jews who are the minority, it's the Jews who are striving to keep their homeland, and it's the Jews who have been abused and suppressed for thousands of years.
We're a peaceful people, made up mostly of intellectuals. But "Never Again" and "Not an Inch" are lessons that Jews will not forget! Put yourself in the shoes of the Jews, who live with the fear that they'll be bombed or attacked with stones every day. What group of human beings could take such abuse without ever defending themselves?
STATE OF ANXIETY
The Voicereport on Israeli policy is more than important. For years the U.S. and American-organized Jews have closed their eyes so as not to see the atrocities committed in the occupied territories by my state. It becomes absurd when even the Israeli press, though in a very moderate language, starts to hint at what is really happening "over there," while the American media keep blaming the victims. It was a horrible thing to be a Jew in the first half of the 20th century. Yet it has been a long untold story of suffering to be an Arab in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, and many other places in the second half of that century. The new century doesn't promise any hope.
BY THE BOOK
As the good book says, "Anger resteth in the bosom of fools." When the Palestinian Authority understands that fact and ceases to incite hatred and violence, then the deaths and injuries will abate on both sides. If the Jews were trying as hard as the Arabs to inflict casualties, how many do you think there would be?
Pine Grove, Pennsylvania
DON'T GIVE A SADDAM
I appreciated reading "Shoot to Maim." As difficult as the reality is, it is important that the Palestinian side of the issue have some coverage. The United States is so concerned with enforcing UN resolutions against Iraq yet continues to financially support Israel in its illegal occupation of the Palestinian territory . . . Where's the justice in that?
To expect the Israeli Defense Forces to control rioting, bombings, and murders with rubber bullets, water cannons, and plastic shields is totally unreasonable. Perhaps in Japan, where students and police have a long-established ritual behavior, this is possible. In Israel, however, there is a life-and-death struggle and the government needs to convince young Palestinian men being pushed toward martyrdom that this behavior is unproductive and ultimately fruitless. It's the only realistic way to end the conflict.