Those of us who were around in the 1940s should remind the U.S. citizenry of how we treated the Japanese and German citizenry in order to terminate the Second World War.

During the last week of July 1943, the U.S. Army Air Forces and the Royal Air Force killed 42,600 German civilians and wounded 37,000 more and practically destroyed the entire city of Hamburg, Germany. The purpose, of course, was to force Germany to surrender.

On Aug. 6, 1945, an American B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing 80,000 civilians. (Tens of thousands more later died of radiation exposure.)

Three days later, a second American atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, killing approximately 40,000 people. Emperor Hirohito then announced unconditional surrender, citing what he called the devastating power of a “new and most cruel bomb.”

I’ve been in both of the Japanese cities and in Hamburg. Rebuilding has taken place, but part of the devastated area in Hiroshima has been left as a reminder.

Frankly, it is beyond my comprehension that anyone should criticize Israel if it kills a relatively small number of Palestinian civilians in order to repel the Hamas soldiers who deliberately use Palestinian civilians as shields while they attempt to destroy Israel.

F. Kingston Berlew

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