Ombudsman Patrick B. Pexton grossly misrepresented the situation in Gaza in his Nov. 25 piece “Outrage over a front-page photo.”
He writes that the hundreds of Hamas rockets fired into Israel from Gaza “are like bee stings on the Israeli bear’s behind.” Really? So apparently it’s a mere nuisance for the half-a-million residents of such Israeli cities as Sderot, Ashkelon and Beersheva who, on a daily basis, live in bomb shelters to escape the terrorist rocket fire. For those who venture out, they may be lucky to have a 15 second warning before these “bee stings” crash down into their cities. But that’s just a slight inconvenience to Mr. Pexton. That would be like Silver Spring firing rockets at the D.C. metro area every day. Could he live like that?
The possibility that many of the Hamas rockets are erratic and unguided does not make them any less deadly, or scary, since they are fired indiscriminately at the civilian population.
Mr. Pexton discounts how this latest conflagration began. In his revision of the facts, he writes how Hamas “began firing more accurate and deadly missiles in response to the Israeli offensive that had begun the day before.” In fact, more than 700 rockets had been fired from Gaza into Israel this year--before this crisis began. Mr. Pexton fails to acknowledge both the rocket fire from Gaza that preceded the crisis and the remarkable Israeli restraint in the face of such an onslaught. He overlooks the fact that Israel was responding to Hamas rockets fired into Israel from Gaza. Israel’s operation was a reaction to relentless terror attacks.
“In addition to the [Hamas] rockets being weak, Israel’s defenses are strong,” Mr. Pexton writes. Here, he is offering an outrageous justification for the Hamas terror attacks. Israel’s defenses are so strong because it is surrounded by enemies out to destroy it. Because Israel has had to develop strong defenses, its death and casualty toll isn’t higher.
Mr. Pexton seems to follow the Post’s basic canard: Israel started this situation.
Daniel S. Mariaschin
B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President
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