Terror not the way to peace

Supporters of Israel would have us believe that any condemnation of the Jewish state's heavy-handedness is either a condonation of Israel's enemies' tactics or a refusal to accept Israel's right to exist.

Supporters of Israel would have us believe that any condemnation of the Jewish state's heavy-handedness is either a condonation of Israel's enemies' tactics or a refusal to accept Israel's right to exist.

We refuse to be blackmailed by such simplistic assessments. Israel has a right to exist and to take appropriate measures to protect itself from those who wish to see it wiped off the face of the earth.

What we do not accept and strongly condemn is Israel's appalling lack of sense of proportionality and its haste to administer collective punishment to Palestinians.

The more than 300 air strikes that have hit Gaza since midday Saturday, killing more than 300 people, bear the hallmarks of war crimes, as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said.

Having said that, there is no escaping that Hamas are not innocent bystanders in the whole sorry episode. They deserve the strongest condemnation for their tactics and their obsession with wishing to wipe Israel off the map.

All parties involved must accept that a two-state solution with a viable Palestine and a guaranteed peaceful co-existence with Israel by its neighbours, is the only way to lasting peace.

Acts of terror perpetrated by both sides have for the 60 years of Israel's existence not yielded any fruit and are not about to do so now.

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