Like most of the thousands of rockets launched by the Hamas terrorists at innocent Israeli men, women and children, the recent “pro-Palestinian” demonstrators in Monument Square missed their mark.

Some are claiming that Israel provoked this and are bent on genocide. The truth and history prove their positions flat-out wrong.

Let’s start with the provocation.

• Claim: A very small minority of Mainers claim that Israel fired 60 rockets into Gaza before Hamas fired back.

Fact: Since 2001, Hamas and other terrorists have launched more than 10,000 rockets into Israel from Gaza (without the luxury of any leaflets warning of impending attacks), many at the town of Sderot.

The effect: It is estimated that nearly half of Israeli children affected by these attacks suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

• Claim: Israel is not interested in peace, only Palestinian genocide.

Fact: It’s not difficult to see that Israel is the only party here agreeing to an Egyptian brokered cease-fire.

When considering long-term peace, we need only to look at the peace agreements Israel signed and upheld with longtime former enemies Egypt and Jordan. Finally, it is Hamas, not Israel, that calls for the annihilation of the other.

• Claim: Israel does not respect and wants to repress Palestinian rights.

Fact: Israel is the only nation to open its doors to Palestinians and allow them to become citizens and participate in the political process. This includes the 22 member countries of the Arab League.

This is a complicated issue, but to suggest that Israel is the aggressor and purposely targeting civilians is preposterous.

Israel would like nothing more than to live in peace and just be left alone. Don’t believe me? Ask the Egyptians and Jordanians.

Howard Forman

Portland