Urban warfare changes people. What will this mean for Israeli soldiers?


To the editor: I have friends who are Palestinian. I have Israeli friends. The cost of this war for the residents of the Gaza Strip is extremely high. The price Israelis are paying is also exorbitant, although they may not yet realize how much this fight will cost them. (“Netanyahu says Gaza war against Hamas will last ‘many more months,’ thanks US for new arms sales,” December 30)

My oldest son fought in Iraq as a member of the US Army. There he participated in urban warfare, breaking down doors and clearing buildings. He killed at least one man up close and personal. My son came back changed and not in a good way.

Israeli soldiers are doing exactly the kind of bloody work my son did in Iraq. They will return home after the war damaged in mind and spirit, if not physically wounded.

Israel may win this war, but in many ways it will be a Pyrrhic victory. It is quite possible that an entire generation of young people will return mutilated in some way. I’ve seen how that can happen.

Francis Pauc, Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

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To the editor: To those who question or deny Israel’s right to exist, I ask: if an Israel had existed at the time of the Nazi regime, would the Holocaust have occurred?

Early in the Nazi period, Jews attempted to leave Germany, but many were turned away from other countries and sent back to die in death camps. A State of Israel would have given them refuge.

Allied bombers were never ordered to attack death camps. An Israeli air force would have made them priority targets.

The existence of a strong Jewish state makes another Holocaust much less likely. The response to the mini-Holocaust perpetrated by Hamas on October 7 demonstrates that because there is an Israel, Jews can no longer be massacred with impunity.

Morris Schorr, Woodland Hills

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To the editor: How ironic it would be if Israel, a nation created after the Holocaust, was now the perpetrator of another genocide.

My grandparents, who died in the concentration camps in Poland, would have been very happy to see the formation of a Jewish state. But that feat was achieved at the expense of the land and freedom of another people, the Palestinians. This blind spot on the part of the powers that be at the time ultimately led to the emergence of Hamas.

I don’t think there is anything in Jewish beliefs that recommends keeping your knee on the neck of a fallen enemy and cutting off his breath. I have always supported Israel’s right to exist, how could I not? But I see no reason why, if the will exists, Palestine cannot also exist.

One thing is certain: war is not the answer.

Karl Lisovsky, Venice

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