Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has justified Israel’s actions in Gaza by saying that “No country on earth would remain passive in the face of ... rockets fired on its cities, and Israel is no exception” (“Israeli Gaza Response Fuels Debate Over Goals,” July 11).
But his inconsistency speaks more loudly than his words.
The uncomfortable fact is that for years he has looked the other way when missiles from Gaza have fallen on Sderot and nearby communities. For years he has made it clear that he regards a few occasional missiles, falling on a small number of Israelis in a small area, as both tolerable and acceptable.
The first obligation of a government — and certainly a democracy — is the physical protection of its citizens. If Israel were indeed like any other country on earth, it would have done whatever was necessary to protect its citizens. It would have tolerated no missiles at all. And perhaps it wouldn’t be in the mess that it’s in now.
West Hempstead, L.I.
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