Don’t poke the gorilla

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In a letter to the editor (“Less artillery, less rhetoric, and more respect,” The Telegram,Tuesday July 29), Tony Middleton of C.B.S. suggests that “two criteria that might be useful in recognizing the ‘aggressor’ in any conflict (are) territorial gain and body count.”

He is wrong.

Body count has nothing whatsoever to do with who the aggressor is.

For example, if I lock myself in a church tower and start shooting at people with a rifle, I am clearly the aggressor. It doesn’t matter whether I’m using an obsolete First World War Lee-Enfield rifle, whether I’m a lousy shot, or even whether I actually hit anyone.

If an RNC sniper shoots me in the head and kills me, that makes the RNC’s body count infinitely greater than mine, but it still doesn’t make the RNC the aggressor; I’m the aggressor, because I started shooting at innocent people. Body count is irrelevant.

Middleton talks about the “dramatic loss of territory by the Palestinians since 1946.” He needs to go back to school and learn some history; in 1946, “Palestine” was the property of Great Britain, and the term “Palestinians,” if it was used at all, would have referred to anyone living in the region — including Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Since Palestinian Muslims had no territory of their own in 1946, there has been zero “loss of territory” since then.

Middleton lists a bunch of numbers comparing the numbers of Israeli dead with the numbers of Palestinian (Muslim) dead. These are simply facts without conclusions.

What conclusions are we supposed to draw, Mr. Middleton? That if you start a war and get your ass kicked, then you’re allowed to call yourself the victim and blame the people you attacked because they’re better fighters than you?

Greg Stokes of St. John’s, in a separate letter, compares the fight between Hamas and Israel to a “66-lb weakling” getting beaten up by a “500-lb gorilla.” He simply ignores the fact that it is Hamas who continually attacks and provokes Israel.

If you insist on breaking into a gorilla’s cage and prodding it with a sharp stick, I see no reason to feel sorry for you, or

to blame the gorilla, when the gorilla defends itself.

William R. Lorimer

St. John’s

Organizations: Hamas

Geographic location: Israel, Great Britain

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Recent comments

  • carogers
    August 04, 2014 - 20:51

    Very well said. Why is it the responder is always seen worse then the one that actually continues the conflict. Hamas couldn't get his head around the idea of a ceasefire. Using it as an opportunity to kill more innocent people.

  • John Q Public
    August 04, 2014 - 12:26

    Well said William. Hamas hides behind religion in its quest to eradicate the region of Jews! It hides its bombs in schools, mosques and residential neighborhoods. It digs tunnels from which it conducts ambush warfare just to satisfy its thirst for Jewish blood. It instigates wars but they cover their faces so as to not be recognized. Cowards ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jeff
      August 04, 2014 - 13:02

      The proceeding was brought to you by the Propaganda Minstry of Israel. Remember folks, when you don't like the facts, remember these three easy rules: 1) Hamas is responsible for everything we do, 2) Critics of Israel are a bunch of anti-semites and therefore, terrorists! 3) All Arabs are de-facto blood-thirsty terrorists. So, when logic looks at you in the face, remember our line is as simple as 1,2,3!

    • William R. Lorimer
      August 06, 2014 - 19:55

      Jeff - I get the feeling that you wouldn't recognize logic if it danced the Macarena in front of you, let alone if it just looked you in the face. :-)

  • Capt. Craig
    August 03, 2014 - 21:52


  • Gerry
    August 03, 2014 - 08:47

    The gorilla isn't the one in the cage!

    • William R. Lorimer
      August 06, 2014 - 19:26

      We all live in cages, genius. It's just that some of us take the time and effort to make our cage comfortable and keep it smelling nice, and others spend all their time resenting the people in the next cage and plotting how to make their lives miserable. Whether you like it or not, Israel is a sovereign nation with as much right to exist as any other sovereign nation. They can't just pick up and move somewhere else in the world, no matter how unfriendly their neighbours are. They've demonstrated repeatedly that they are prepared to live in peace with their neighbours, but failing that, they are prepared to defend themselves as any nation would.

  • seanoairborne
    August 02, 2014 - 15:25

    EXCELLENT SUMMATION MR.LORIMER! I could not have said it better myself!! You mess with the buck you get the horn!! Never bring a knife to a gunfight you started!

  • Politically Incorrect.
    August 02, 2014 - 11:18

    Here's a more truthful analogy: What if you were kicked out of your house, had your family massacred, and forced you to live in the church with others who were also forced out. What if the Church doors were locked, not by you, but by the very people who stole your land and refused you to enter or exit. What if they occasionally entered the church and arrested and beat people at random to make sure you weren't making too much noise? What if you were told that you had no nationality or right to exist as a free independent person? What if the people who locked you in the church said you could go back and rent back your crawlspace, but you refused? What if someone else in the church started throwing stones out of the steeple and your captors retaliated by shelling the church citing that as the stone thrower was in the church, he was hiding amongst you and you were just unfortunate victims of the stone thrower? And what if some wag from St. John's said you are the aggressor started all this?

    • Abdul Saieed
      August 04, 2014 - 11:04

      Very well said. William's analogy reeks of misunderstanding and disinformation.

  • Majed
    August 02, 2014 - 09:56

    Amazing freedom with truth and realities. Arab Palestinian Muslim and Christinians lived in Palestine for thousands of years ( before many Europeans came to that country and claimed to themselves). In 1919 at the onset of the British mandate of Palestine , there were 650000 inhabitants . Six hundred thousands ( over 90%) were Arabs. Also in a response to your example, what would the RNC do if a hardened criminal takes hostages and take refuge in the church or a hospitaL? I can guarantee you, as civilized force and decent people would do, they will not kill the hostages including the innocent children. You can dress it any way you want with the rest of Israel apologists, a crime is a crime

    • William R. Lorimer
      August 06, 2014 - 19:51

      The hardened criminal who takes hostages is still a hardened criminal; his taking of hostages doesn't make him the victim, nor does it make the police the bad guys. Of course the police have a responsibility to do their best to resolve the situation without harming any of the hostages, but the unfortunate reality is, that is not always possible with a 100% guarantee. In wartime, it's even harder to avoid civilian casualties. And, frankly, if you go to war, the responsibility for avoiding civilian casualties is yours, not the enemy's. The solution to the current conflict is simple. Stop killing Israelis, and the Israelis will stop defending themselves. There would be no "massacre" in Gaza if Hamas hadn't restarted the fighting.