Sir, –The Greek government unreservedly condemns the attack
against Jerusalem Post reporter Gil Shefler by a small group of unidentified
extremists in Athens on Tuesday evening. The police are conducting a thorough
investigation into this incident, to find the culprits and bring them to
Immediately after the incident, Mr. Shefler was rushed to
hospital by the Greek authorities, where he was treated and then discharged in
I would like to stress that this attack constitutes an
isolated incident and is in no way indicative of the overall situation in
Athens, where citizens and visitors enjoy a safe, secure and hospitable
Furthermore, such incidents do not reflect nor do they
represent the values and traditions of the Greek people, who have fought hard in
their history not only for freedom, but also for the freedom of thought and
expression, non-discrimination and tolerance.
It is to these principles
that we stand firm and that any visitor to Greece will encounter upon their
Ambassador of Greece
Myths and facts
Gerald Steinberg (“The myths of 1967 and today’s realities,” Comment &
Features, June 6) notes correctly that Jordan illegally occupied the West Bank
between 1948 and 1967. He also repeatedly refers to Israel’s “occupation” of
that area from 1967 to the present.
If indeed the West Bank has been
under foreign occupation since 1948, who exactly is or was the true sovereign
power? “Palestine,” perhaps? Of course not – never in history was there such a
The Ottoman Empire was the sovereign power in Palestine until
1918, when it was defeated in World War One. Sovereignty over Palestine then
passed to the British Mandate, created by the world powers of that time
specifically as a trustee for the future “Jewish national home,” what we call
Israel’s sovereign rights to this home, which also includes
Judea and Samaria, were firmly anchored in international law then and remain so
until today. Thus, Israel cannot “occupy” land that is rightfully
Steinberg sets out to examine the myths of 1967 yet perpetuates
that most pernicious and stubborn myth of all – that Israel is somehow the
occupying power in the West Bank.
In an obscure and unfocused op-ed piece by Gerald M. Steinberg, one sentence
stands out because of its remarkable definitive certainty.
Steinberg, in 1977 then-prime minister Menachem Begin “rejected calls for
annexation” of Judea and Samaria.
To the best of my knowledge this
assertion is false. As such, I would ask you to either correct the record or to
ask Steinberg to provide us with the appropriate citation.
Gerald M. Steinberg responds: Menachem Begin served as prime minister from
1977 through 1983. During these years the status and future of Judea, Samaria
and Gaza were central issues, including in negotiations with Egyptian president
Anwar Sadat and US president Jimmy Carter. At no time did Begin move toward or
express any support for annexation for the reasons stated in my
Rather, he pursued an autonomy framework for the Arab population
while maintaining Israeli sovereignty and security control over the
Sir, – Regarding “Queen Elizabeth joins
giant jubilee armada in London “ (June 5), if there is one person from Israel
who should be invited to the British queen’s celebration it is my father, Zvi
(Henry) Freedman, of Kiryat Tivon. I think he can claim to be the only “Israeli
Brit” who took part in the parade marking her coronation.
The year was
1952. He was serving in the British army and, being Londonborn, in the 4th Royal
Tank Regiment in the Canal Zone. If his memory serves him correctly, the salute
was taken by Gen. Sir John Harding.
Sir, – I last saw
Elizabeth in 1946 while she was still a princess and driving down Market Street
in Johannesburg with her father, mother and sister.
Since her coronation
she has made 115 official visits overseas. Israel is one of the very few
countries not on the list. I would like to know from our Foreign Minister
whether her majesty has ever received an official invitation.