Readers sound off on what Hamas wins, Civil War history and Giuliani’s legacy

Hamas counted on Netanyahu’s big miscalculation

Dartmouth, Mass.: From all perspectives, Hamas has succeeded in destroying Israel’s image, morale and standing among its former allies and millions of diaspora Jews.

For Hamas, the task was to garner attention, sympathy and universal antipathy toward Israel. And if antisemitism, long suppressed, has also been awakened in the process, that is their extra victory.

Clearly, the sacrifice of thousands of innocent Palestinians was not unexpected, but undoubtedly factored into the strategy. The world, preoccupied with COVID-19, financial instability and climate catastrophes, had forgotten about the dispossessed and oppressed Palestinians. Israel was forging new alliances based on economic incentives and the fate of the Palestinians being perpetually ignored.

Hamas never intended to establish Palestinian sovereignty or to improve the lives of the impoverished and disheartened population. The goal was significantly more expansive: the isolation and world enmity of Israel and its United States sponsor.

The barbarity and brutality of the Hamas attack is barely mentioned in world news, save for certain American media coverage. The leadership of Hamas also correctly foresaw Benjamin Netanyahu’s response and his obsessive need to remain in power. In the face of such a devastating attack, Netanyahu had only one objective, and that was self-preservation.

A weakened and dispirited Israel, a further diminishment of America’s standing and uninhibited antisemitism is the trifecta Hamas has accomplished. What a sad development for all the powerless and innocent victims everywhere. Betty Ussach

Unbound by bylines

Kings Park, L.I.: Why doesn’t the AP identify its writers? Their writing is biased. For example, they’ll report the death toll as given by the Health Ministry in Gaza along with the breakdown of two-thirds being women and children without a disclaimer, but when Israel reports the number of militants killed, they throw in “without providing evidence.” Does this sound like objective reporting? Andrew Ross

Why stay?

Flagler Beach, Fla.: To Voicer Joe Manago: Hey Joe, if you hate this country so much, why don’t you get the hell out and find someplace better? Oh, that’s right, there isn’t anywhere better. Doug Weinberg

They said so

East Meadow, L.I.: To Voicer Donna Morena: Nikki Haley and you are wrong about why the Civil War was fought. The Confederacy did not fight a war for “states’ rights.” That was a revisionist excuse created well after the war ended. In fact, the South opposed states’ rights, since states in the North were exercising their states’ rights to ignore the Fugitive Slave Act. The truth that Haley and other Civil War revisionists ignore is that the Confederacy was founded on the institution of slavery. As Alexander Stephens, the vice president of the Confederacy, plainly put it: “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” Richard Skibins

Got a pass

Effort, Pa.: To Voicer Bill Reddan: In response to your request for an explanation regarding why Alexander Stephens was allowed to return to Congress after imprisonment for treason, President Andrew Johnson pardoned Stephens, thus restoring his rights. Interesting fact: More than 150 years later, another racist traitor seeks to run for office. Hopefully, this time it will not be allowed. Kathleen Slattery

Hedging for hegemony

Spotswood, N.J.: Hitler and other dictators prevented their political opponents from seeking office. Americans of all political denominations should be very wary of this pattern across our country. Tom Scott

Statutory bar

Bronx: While many are focused on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, does Section 4 of the same amendment provide a basis to argue legally that reparations may not be owed? In defining which debts were acquired by the country and the states after the Civil War, the section reads in part: “the United States nor any State shall assume … any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.” Mike Yorio

Election consequences

New Windsor, N.Y.: Voicer Irving A. Gelb’s concerns regarding Rep. Mike Johnson are 100% correct. To think he may be in line for the presidency is horrific. We have seen how Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016 had long-term repercussions. Because many Democrats did not vote for her, we ended up with an unqualified grifter as president. Look what we ended up with in the Supreme Court. Now many groups are vocalizing that they may not vote for President Biden or not at all. Consider the alternative! Elections are important for down-ballot candidates too. Just think if both houses of Congress were not split between parties. As good as our country is today due to Democratic initiatives, how much better would our country be if we didn’t have a party in Congress that only focuses on defending the ex-president’s insidious actions? Greg Van Den Berg

Do not pass ‘go’

Staten Island: Kudos to Edison, N.J., Mayor Sam Joshi who, unlike the Jersey City mayor and others, chose not to let these migrants waltz through into sanctuary NYC via his transportation hubs and is sending them back to where they came from. Way to stand up for your city. Good job. Thomas Fraumeni Jr.

Rude Giuliani

Milford, Pa.: In “Rudy Giuliani and the city he remade” (op-ed, Jan. 2) Christian Browne paints a very different picture of Giuliani than the Rudy I’m familiar with, who denied city workers raises for as many as seven years. He told everyone about Patrick Dorismond’s juvenile arrest record even though those records were sealed. He routinely abused people (remember when he told a reporter, “Don’t be a jerk,” twice!). Mayor David Dinkins started the Safe Streets, Safe City program and raised taxes specifically to hire more cops. It took several years to take effect but Rudy took credit for it. After his mayoralty ended, he was so hungry for power that he ran for president in a disastrous campaign that even his own children would not support. That’s the Giuliani that I know, an angry, bitter man who’s on the outside looking in. How the mighty have fallen. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Robert K. Greco

Rose-colored glasses

Manhattan: I hope whatever planet Christian Browne has been living on for the past few years has pleasant weather. Rudy Giuliani’s legacy is that he is a corrupt, dishonest, butt-kissing sycophant, a bully and a rapist with no integrity, no decency and no shame. And those are his best attributes. Anything he did in the past is unfortunately irrelevant because of his attempts to undermine our democracy, destroy people’s lives and ignore the behavior of the most corrupt politician in American history in order to acquire power and wealth for himself. Mark Portnoy

Corrupt cronies

Ocala, Fla.: Among everything else that wealthy people get away with, why oh why isn’t the IRS going after Justice Clarence Thomas and his ilk who got millions of dollars of “gifts” from “friends”? You know that regular folks like me would certainly get nailed by the IRS and have to pay! Just because they have no ethics — how do they get away with not paying for these items? The media should give us some answers. Please dig deep on this matter. Lynn Miller


Washingtonville, N.Y.: I had an extremely bad experience with some M&M’s. I bought two packs of them at a store in Monroe, N.Y. I opened one and poured the whole bag into my mouth. I felt a weird texture and rushed to the bathroom and spit it out, where I noticed I had a mouth full of maggots. I ran to where I left the empty bag of M&M’s and saw the rest of the maggots crawling out of it. I ran back to the bathroom and started to make myself throw up any maggots I may have swallowed. Then I ran back to the room to vacuum all the maggots that were crawling on the night stand, floor and bed. I started feeling weird afterward, probably because of the disgusted feeling I had. Steven Brito

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