August 22

Richard Cohen said in “The stain of success” [op-ed, Aug. 19] that Israel should not be judged by its actions — or the predictable results of its actions — in its bombing of the densely populated Gaza Strip. Rather, it should be judged by its intent. He did not say what Israel’s intent is, except to say “it is not a child-murdering community.”

So, what do Israelis say is the intent of the siege, blockade and bombing of Gaza? In 2006, when Israel was putting its blockade of Gaza in place, Dov Weisglass, an aide to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, famously said, “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet but not to make them die of hunger.” Since then, Israel has inflicted endless hunger, illness, poverty and despair on the men, women and children of Gaza, punctuated by periods of intense, lethal, all-destroying bombardment.

Israeli officials and pundits call the periodic bombings “mowing the grass.” Such cold, mocking euphemisms mask a rage against the Palestinians of almost limitless proportions.

Steve France, Cabin John