(photo credit: REUTERS)
Kudos to Gallant
In “Gallant: Beduin are taking over Negev,” (April 26), the construction minister is criticized by Balad MK Azbarga and the radical NGO Bimkom for his comments indicting that the Beduin are taking over large swaths of the Negev. But with over 2,000 illegal villages/clusters (and counting) containing Beduin dwellings, Gallant is spot on with his remarks.
While Azbarga makes absurd accusations accusing Galant of wanting to “imprison the Beduin in ghettos,” the fact is that the Beduin are the only sector in Israeli society who are offered free housing plots, in addition to monetary compensation from the State to move into recognized towns. Moving onto free plots of land, which are completely developed with road infrastructure, and all utilities in place, hardly sounds like ghetto conditions. Finally, despite claims by Nili Baruch of Bimkom that “the vast majority of the Beduin in the Negev are on their historic lands,” Regavim’s aerial photography of the barren Negev from 1945, even before the establishment of the State of Israel, proves that the notion of “historical Beduin villages,” existing in that area is a complete myth. This includes the mentioned al-Arakib village which photo evidence confirms was only built at the end of the 1990’s and not in 1905 as claimed.JOSH HASTEN
The writer is the International Director of Regavim, an NGO monitoring Beduin land use in Israel.Some opportunity!
On behalf of settlers everywhere, I want to personally thank Nitzan Horowitz for finally opening our eyes in “Arab Peace Initiative - the greatest missed opportunity in Israel’s history” (April 26).
After passing their infamous “Three No’s” resolution at the Arab League summit in Khartoum in 1967, refusing peace overtures on many occasions, and attacking and killing thousands of Israelis in their bid to wipe us out, the Arabs are finally willing to “negotiate” a solution in which we’ll get peace, in exchange for a full abrogation of our rights to our land, and subjecting our families to threats of annihilation behind indefensible borders? This is all we need to do? Thank you, Nitzan, for finally explaining this amazing opportunity to us all! How could we have been so obtuse all these years? NOAM COHEN
In regards to “Hamdallah calls on world to pressure Israel to make peace” (April 26), a better headline would have been, “Hamdallah calls on world to pressure Israel to accept Palestinian demands.” Israel does not need to be pressured to make peace, we have offered it enough times from all sides of the political spectrum.
In addition, it wouldn’t have made a scrap of difference if in the Balfour Declaration, which came after World War 1, and the Jewish contribution to winning the war, had added the right to Arab self determination. They rejected it outright when the UN offered it in 1948. They didn’t and still don’t want it. What they do want is the disappearance of the only Jewish State.
Even so, I am willing to give the Palestinians the benefit of doubt, that they really do want to have an independent state with all the responsibilities that come with it.
Will it happen in my lifetime? Not very likely.FREYA BINENFELD
The JTA item “Highest educated Jews least religious” (April 27) contrasts the beliefs of those with and without a college education. Apparently education, to the pollsters, is what takes place in a college, and has nothing to do with what takes place when somebody studies in a yeshiva for years on end. No wonder the secular Jews are adjudged more educated. To paraphrase an old saying, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, your survey will determine that fish aren’t educated.
MARK L. LEVINSON
Herzliya Rabbit at Rest
It seems United Airlines woes continue with the demise of a giant rabbit on a flight. A sad case of A’Hare to eternity.SALLY SHAW