Jan 16 2009

Letters to the Editor: U.S., Israel are allies

Dear Editor: For eight years, civilians in southern Israel have endured deadly rocket attacks from Palestinians living in the nearby Gaza Strip. Israel, after warning the Palestinian terror group Hamas to stop, has finally responded.

In a statement released by his Washington office, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby explains the situation well. 'Israel and the United States have maintained an extremely strong and beneficial alliance for more than 50 years,' Sen. Shelby said. 'Hamas' ongoing attacks are completely unacceptable, and I firmly support Israel's right to defend itself against these acts of terror.'

It's not surprising that Sen. Shelby and so many of our other elected officials, Republicans and Democrats, support Israel and Israel's right to defend itself against terror. They know that Israel's fight is our fight.

They also know that despite media reports that give a false impression, the Israeli army does everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties, unlike Hamas which strives to kill as many civilians as possible.

The millions and millions of Americans who support Israel should be thankful that Sen. Shelby and so many of our other political leaders understand clearly that America and Israel are allies, bound by common values, and thus are the two countries that radical Islamic extremists despise the most.

Richard Friedman

Executive director

Birmingham Jewish Federation