letters | clash in the middle east

Hamas’s aggressions offer no entry to moral high ground

In the Nov. 20 editorial “Ceasefire aims should include long-term solution for Gaza,” your recognition that Hamas is the aggressor and Israel the victim is undermined by your assertion that the moral high ground can shift quickly and accidentally in a violent exchange. The moral ground can shift only for those who forget that placing weapons and combatants among civilians is a violation of international law and the laws of land warfare, as is the wanton firing of rockets at civilians. It is true that popular support for Israel may wane, but don’t confuse that with morality.

There is no clearer evidence of the levels of hypocrisy at play here than the claim by Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that Israel is the aggressor because it has now returned months of rocket fire on its civilians. On Oct. 3 Turkish forces shelled targets within Syria as retaliation for a single mortar that landed across its border. It would appear that Erdogan believes that Israel may not defend itself after months of rockets aimed at its civilians, while Turkey may respond at the first instance. How’s that for morality?

Myron S. Geller