Rachel Corrie's death was a tragedy. She was obviously a passionate, caring young woman who was concerned about the world. Sadly, her lack of life experience worked against her.

Rachel Corrie's death was a tragedy. She was obviously a passionate, caring young woman who was concerned about the world. Sadly, her lack of life experience worked against her.

The ISM recruits young people like Rachael who want to make a difference, entices them to Gaza and uses them as human shields in a military zone. No civilian should ever be encouraged to enter an area where soldiers are carrying out counter-terror operations, thus putting themselves unnecessarily at risk.

An investigation done by Israel, which included extensive interrogation of the driver and his commanders using polygraphs and video evidence, revealed that the driver's view had been obstructed by the debris and by the bulldozer's protective driver cage. An autopsy confirmed that the bulldozer had not touched Rachel.

Rachel Corrie paid the ultimate price for her naivety. Let's learn from this tragedy and allow something positive to emerge. Let's focus our concern on educating our young people by raising their awareness. Let's teach them to fully investigate situations before they throw themselves into a dangerous situation where their lives are threatened. There's so much good work to do in this world where Rachel's passion could have made a difference. — Ayala Zonnenschein, Ashland

As a 20-year resident of the Greensprings, a rural area east of Ashland, I have witnessed many dogs being dropped off up here, several of which I have adopted.

I have often thought that these irresponsible people who would do such an unconscionable thing don't deserve to be pet owners. It is an honor to love and nurture an animal and to give it a home. I have shed many tears over the loss of an animal also, usually when they die of old age. But last week, I was horrified to come home and find my beloved mini dachshund, Lani, had been taken. I have had the privilege of raising this special dog, having her spayed and keeping up on her vaccinations. If you are reading this, please return my dog to me. She had a license and a tag with our phone number, 488-3832. Please call today. — Sally Nowland, Greensprings

Bashing Israel again in a recent letter, Isaac Walker states "... Israel's recent slaughter in Gaza awakened the whole world to the barbarity of that occupation." This statement flagrantly ignores the facts about Hamas and Gaza.

First, Israel left Gaza in 2005. Every soldier withdrawn. Every Jewish settlement evacuated. Concurrently, Jewish businessmen donated $14 million dollars for greenhouses to encourage Palestinian agriculture "¦ but the Palestinian's first act led by Hamas after Israel's evacuation was to torch three synagogues and destroy the greenhouses.

Hamas rules Gaza. Its charter and political ambition is to destroy Israel and to kill every Jew. Hamas is funded by Syria, Iran and radical Muslims throughout the world. Since 2005 Hamas militants have fired thousands of missiles and launched terrorist attacks aimed at Israeli civilians.

Hamas is at war with Israel. After four years of Hamas attacks Israel invaded Gaza to destroy Hamas.

Israel's invasion included attack warnings to avoid civilian casualties by dropping leaflets, cell-phone calls, and pre-announcements via local radio and TV. Israel opened its border during the fighting allowing U.N. humanitarian aid and supplies to help Gazan civilians.

Never acknowledging Hamas' violence, Walker's malevolent view reveals a prejudice against Israel's right to defend itself. — Will Hershman, Ashland

I am upset at the amount of litter on our streets here in Southern Oregon and wish that people would not toss out their garbage. We find beer cans, soda cans and bottles, cigarette cartons and bags on our roads quite a bit and pick them up as we can ourselves. Let's be proud of where we live and keep it clean and beautiful for everyone! — Jerrine Rowley, Medford