Comparing Israel with Russia is hardly balancing like with like | Israel

In her article (As brutal war rages and famine looms, look at pictures of Gaza and keep saying: ‘this is not normal’, 25 March), Nesrine Malik compares the invasions of Ukraine by Russia and Gaza by Israel and the US reaction to them. She seems to think she is comparing like with like, but she is not.

Ukraine, prior to the Russian invasion, was a peaceful country that posed no threat to its neighbour, and the invasion was entirely unjustified. The same could not be said of Hamas, which was the de facto government of Gaza when it entered Israel on 7 October. Hamas militants murdered more than 1,000 people and took over 200 hostage. They still hold many of these captive.

Hamas must have known what would happen – that Israel would react with force and that many Gazan people would suffer as a result. Hamas gave Benjamin Netanyahu the excuse he needed to act the strongman and deflect from the looming court case against him and his possible imprisonment.

Meanwhile, what has happened to the hostages? Are they still alive? If they are, what sort of condition are they in? More importantly, why doesn’t Hamas release them? Their use as a bargaining chip is over, and releasing them would serve to pull the rug from under Netanyahu’s feet. It would make it more difficult for his rightwing populist government to continue with the invasion, and would lead to much-needed aid entering Gaza. The fact that this hasn’t happened shows the callous disregard that Hamas has for the welfare of its own people.
Gordon Glassford
Corby, Northamptonshire

Reading Nesrine Malik’s article, the impression is left that Israel launched an unprovoked invasion into Gaza, just as Russia did into Ukraine. There is no mention of Hamas’s surprise attack on 7 October 2023, of its savagery and sadism. But perhaps that was thought rather normal? As normal as the international community seemed to think the preceding years of rocket attacks on Israel’s citizens?

Which country would have endured those as Israel did, never wringing its hands internationally but instead getting down to inventing the best defence systems it could to protect its citizens of every faith? It’s the same with civilian shelters. Israel has built those, but Hamas decided to build attack tunnels instead. Wars have their cruel logic. The party starting one must be sure it can prosecute it to a victory; if it can’t, as the Gazan government plainly can’t, it bears the heaviest responsibility for not suing for peace, now.
John Radice
Wallingford, Oxfordshire

Have an opinion on anything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication in our letters section.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Back To Top