Illusions of peace
Sir, – Gershon Baskin (“Despite it all, still committed to
peace,” Encountering Peace, June 13) is under the illusion that Israel,
according to the Oslo Accords, agreed to freeze building in the disputed
territories in return for the Palestinian Authority’s improving security there.
This is not true.
Israel agreed to reduce checkpoints and give greater
freedom of movement in return for improved security. It never gave up its
legitimate rights to build there.
The PA agreed to stop the incitement
and anti-Semitism in the Palestinian media and educational system, but has
failed to comply.
In addition to the billions of dollars of aid received
from the US and Europe, as well as the economic benefits, water resources and
electricity it receives from Israel, the PA refuses to come to the negotiating
table. Instead, it makes further demands for a settlement freeze.
Swap the disk
Sir, – Regarding “Gov’t says wave of
condemnations over settlements will pass” (June 8), this government needs to
understand that it has to make the case strongly and repeatedly in all forums,
to the Americans, the Europeans and the entire world, that Jewish settlement in
Judea and Samaria is in fact legal according to international law.
to “swap the disk,” change the vocabulary and make the international community
understand that it is a great injustice when it keeps applying the word
“illegal” to the word “settlements.” If the government doesn’t do this, the
condemnations will just continue.
Sir, – Having been a student of Saul Alinsky, it is vital to respond
to Caroline B. Glick’s “Defeat the Jewish Alinskyites” (Column One, June
Alinsky’s approach was to universalize, humanize and empower a cause
by using creative tactics and building coalitions. Any side of the political
spectrum can use this approach. What Glick should write about is the tragedy of
Israel’s national camp not using this approach.
A case in point: The
groups that make up Israel’s national camp could become heroes of the country if
they were to a coalesce with other concerned groups to fight police brutality,
police abuse of women, police violence against minors, police destruction of
private possessions, police removal of badges, police bullying of reporters,
police smashing of cameras, police use of horses and police employment of forced
strip searches, and to create a broad-based universal demand for civilian
oversight of the police.
Since the cardinal principle of Israel’s
national camp is the Jewish right to purchase land west of the Jordan River, as
mandated by the League of Nations and ratified by the UN, it could invoke the
Alinsky principle of “teaching self-interest” to the whole of Israel as to the
vital importance of holding on to the mountainous region to protect the coastal
plain, especially since 95 percent of Israel’s Jews do not live in Judea and
Samaria, and many have little idea as to where the “West Bank” even
Now that one million Israelis have lived though the traumatic
experience of aerial attacks from Gaza, the time has come for the national camp
to ask everyone if they would want to live under similar attacks from Judea and
The refusal of Israel’s national camp to coalesce with anyone
outside its closed circle will lead to failure. Instead of denouncing the
Alinskyites, learn from them.
“creativity measure” mentioned in “Enjoy your books while you can afford it!”
(Comment & Features, June 12) is the annual number of new books published in
a country per 1,000 capita, and not per capita.