Military violence doesn't equal terrorist violence

  We read the letter entitled "Mideast violence can't end until occupation ceases" in the 2/27 Naperville Sun. We were disturbed. We agree the "occupation" must end, but under what circumstances that truly guarantees peace and security? What disturbed us is that the well-meaning ministers who wrote the letter believe "it will not be possible to deal effectively with the violence as long as the occupation continues" or that "there will be extremists both in Israel and Palestine who would continue the violence."

  What disturbs us is that they seem to equate the suicide bombing and machine gunning of Israeli citizens going about their daily lives with the Israeli Army fighting a war against Hamas, Tanzin, Jihad and other terrorist organizations who have never accepted the 1948 formation of Israel! What would you do if suicide bombers targeted Naperville young people at the Riverwalk or decided to machine gun patrons in the ticket line at Cantera? Or fly into the World Trade Center? Or slit the throat of Dan Pearl, whose last words were "I am a Jew." Our government, in fact, has decided to "take them out" though far from our own nice Naperville homes. Israeli Jews don't have that luxury. They must do it at home in front of TV cameras and a free press.

  To equate the violence of terrorism and the violence of a military response to attacks is morally unacceptable to us. Since these groups don't accept the very existence of Israel what makes anyone think just ending the occupation will stop these religious fanatics and that our young people are legitimate targets because they "occupy" Arab land. Anyone who justifies these fanatics are misguided apologists for hate.

  In their overly simple slogan, "end the occupation," they have taken sides where the responsibility for this tragic complex conflict lies. In taking sides they are overlooking the systematic murder of Jews going about their daily life. We're sorry, but for us this is an insult to the memory of these innocent victims.

Ray and Sheldon Isenberg,