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Steer clear 

San Luis Obispo

As a paper specializing in local news and entertainment reporting, I find it appalling how you covered the international news story in Gaza on your editorial pages.  The situation is quite complex; providing a forum for such extremist viewpoints as those in Cathryn Sells’ letter (“Silence is the voice of complicity,” Jan. 8) is disturbing.  Not one point in her letter has a basis in fact.  For example, she wrote, “[Palestinian] land was taken in 1948 so that Israel could exist.” Your readers need to understand the historical context, including the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan, a two-state compromise offered to and rejected by Arabs, and how critical the need was for a refuge for Jews, a people persecuted for centuries.  Secondly, the letter purports that Israelis have “turned on” the Palestinians. Israel’s enemy is not the Palestinians, but rather Hamas, a terrorist organization whose goal is to annihilate the state of Israel and all Jews. Finally, the letter states, “Palestinians have had food and medical supplies cut off by the Israelis …” Actually, humanitarian aid is being provided; Israel must, however, ensure Hamas does not use tunnels in Gaza to bring in more weapons from Iran. Remember, Israel is fighting a group that practices such war tactics as hiding in civilian clothing or hospitals, and uses children as human shields. Certainly this makes for complexities in honoring international military laws, but Israel has made concerted efforts to warn an area before an attack. Israel is also under siege, and I can assure you no warnings are sent to the Israelis.

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