I will take Danny Schiff at his word that he harbors no ill will toward Palestinians and wants them to have a flourishing state of their own. ("When Will It End?" Jan. 19 Perspectives). The actions of the Israeli government suggest that another perspective, bereft of good intentions, rules the day.
Perhaps the answer to "When will the Israelis finally get to live in peace" lies in examining the "pivotal asymmetry at the root of great suffering" that Rabbi Schiff cites in a different light in his essay.
The Palestinians are an occupied people. In Gaza they are reduced to living in open-air prisons to the point of starvation. When they elect leaders who fight against this injustice, the results of democratic elections are ignored and the leaders, along with their supporters, are conveniently labeled as terrorists and targeted for ex-judicial assassination (their families included in many cases).
Israeli supporters have justified the recent Israeli incursion into Gaza as a defensive maneuver. "Israel has done everything in its power to avoid civilian deaths in Gaza, including frequent warnings ... about impending strikes on Hamas terrorists," states Rabbi Schiff.
One or two errant missile strikes could possibly be explained as unavoidable mistakes. Targeting U.N. compounds, a university, hospitals, schools, apartment buildings and mosques is state-sponsored terror.
It is the continuation of the brutal occupation, terror and humiliation of the Palestinians by the Israeli government, with the support of the United States, that is the asymmetrical factor in this equation. When the bully removes his foot from the neck of the prisoner, perhaps they can begin to walk together toward peace.
JOHN M. RICE