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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

March 15, 2010 at 4:00 PM

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Israel: Corrie's posthumous trial, holy sites and ending aid

Posted by Letters editor

Blame ISM for Rachel Corrie’s death

Editor, The Times:

Rachel Corrie’s death was a sad and senseless death of a young woman [“Rachel Corrie’s day in court,” Opinion, March 12]. She was close to the age of my daughter. To hear of her death, as a mother, was extremely heartbreaking. But why was she in Gaza?

Why did she allow herself to be used by the International Solidarity Movement? The ISM knowingly endangers the lives of “internationals” by placing them in harm’s way in an active military zone.

During the Intifada, my daughter went to Israel to work as a volunteer medic with Magen David Adom to help Jews, Arabs, Christians and anyone else who was harmed or sick. At the same time Rachel Corrie was duped into standing in front of a bulldozer and was no help to anyone.

The ISM also encourages violent responses to the Israeli army and the army has an obligation to protect its citizens as any army of a legitimate government has an obligation to do so. The Israeli Defense Forces were engaged in legitimate counterterror operations in order to protect it’s citizens.

The ISM brainwashes young, impressionable people to its way of thinking and uses them to deliberately interfere with the Israeli army. The ISM uses “internationals” to achieve this goal and make Israel look like the aggressor. The army did what it needed to do in order to thwart more killings of Israeli citizens — and tourists.

It is the ISM that the Corries should be suing for using their daughter, taking her to a military zone and leaving her there to interfere with the army of a legitimate country that was protecting its citizens from further bombings in Israel’s cities.

— Iris Langman, Mercer Island

Glaring inaccuracies in story

Amy Goodman’s article about Rachel Corrie in The Times concerning the tragic event surrounding her death contains some inaccuracies and distortions of facts. Goodman inaccurately states that the Israeli army was building a “large steel wall” to separate Rafah and Egypt. It was Egypt, not Israel, that built the wall.

While I share the sadness about Corrie’s passing on March 16, 2003, I am concerned why so much has been made about it when compared with the numerous untimely deaths of American and Israeli innocent victims of Palestinian suicide bombings. Is there a double standard here?

Goodman ignores the role played by the Palestinian-based ISM, which must share some of the blame for Corrie’s untimely death when it encouraged her and other members to put themselves in harm’s way in a war zone.

The Israeli army was engaged in legitimate counterterror operations to protect Israeli civilians from indiscriminate Palestinian terrorists attacks. I do believe her death was accidental.

— Josh Basson, Seattle

Preserve Jewish connection to holy sites

Two weeks ago, violence instigated by Iran-backed Hamas struck Israel yet again. Those bent on harming Israel caused dozens of injuries to people at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including at the Western Wall — Judaism’s holiest place.

The leader of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, urged Palestinians to unleash a new intifada. “Jerusalem is ours, the land is ours, and God is with us,” Haniyeh said. His threat of mass violence came in response to an Israeli plan to include two holy sites in the West Bank as part of a comprehensive package to preserve Israel’s national heritage and religious sites.

Jerusalem’s holy sites must remain safe and open to all religions — and have been only since Israel took control of Jerusalem in the defensive war of 1967. Before then, when both Christian and Jewish holy sites were under Jordanian control, Jews were forbidden to pray or visit these sites. In recent years, Palestinian terrorists and rioters have desecrated and destroyed Jewish and Christian holy places in areas under their control.

Christians, Muslims and Jews alike have ties to sacred areas around Jerusalem and consider Jerusalem to be their home. Nevertheless, Jews who live in predominantly Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem recently have come under fire in news reports around the world. There is no reason Jews should be prohibited to live in Arab areas, just as Arabs aren’t criticized for living in Jewish neighborhoods — such as Pisgat Ze’ev.

No one should question the right of Jews to live in the united city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the core of the Jewish people — with thousands of years of history connecting them to this holy city.

— Dennis M. Trepanier, Poulsbo

End Israeli military and economic aid

Thank you for being courageous enough to mention an obvious answer to the intransigence and arrogance of the government of Israel in pushing settlement activity in the occupied territories of Palestine [“Expensive stalemate,” Opinion, March 14].

The U.S. must, as The Times editorial board suggests, take a first step of stopping its military aid to Israel. It is morally wrong to contribute to this kind of egregious abuse — no matter how profitable it might be for arms manufacturers here and in Israel.

U.S. military aid in the billions has only convinced Israel that it can get away with — in addition to the land theft of the settlements — outrageous human rights violations up to and including bombing innocent refugees in Gaza last year.

And to add insult to injury, Israelis have universal health care — unlike their patron U.S.

— Linda Jansen, Seattle

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