That E1 again
Sir, – It is a fitting theme for Hanukka, when we celebrate the
poorly equipped Jews soundly defeating impossible odds and a super-power, that a
piece of native Jewish land in the West Bank called E1 – on which no one is
currently living – is proposed as a new neighborhood to ease an acute housing
shortage (“PM in Germany: E1 construction would not bring an end two-state
solution,” December 7).
It would not divide the West Bank and would not
under any circumstances form part of any theoretical second Palestinian state
(the first being Jordan).
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has done
something unusual, something very brave, something an Israeli leader has not
done for many decades: He has made a stand for the moral, ethical, legal and
historic rights of the Jewish people to develop Jewish land for young couples
and growing families.
Netanyahu deserves all our support, whatever our
beliefs. If we can come together as a people and emulate just one percent of the
courage and stamina of the Maccabees, we will truly be worthy of the land of
Israel for eternity.HAROLD MILLER
Sir, – My blood is boiling! How
dare the international community condemn us for planning to build very necessary
housing in our capital! Where were the international community’s condemnations
when rockets were flying down on us? Where were its condemnations against
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas when he totally abrogated the Oslo
Accords – for which the Europeans were guarantors – by unilaterally going for
statehood? They either voted for statehood or they abstained! To make matters
worse, a US State Department spokesman had the gall to say that we complicate
efforts to resume direct negotiations (“Obama administration slams Israel on new
settlement plans,” December 4).
We complicate efforts? How dare they!
Where was President Barack Obama all this time? Why didn’t he charge his
secretary of state to do as James Baker did so many years ago and threaten the
international community by withholding money for the United Nations? That got
everybody’s attention! Guess who backed down? I say congratulations, Bibi. You
and your cabinet finally made the right decision. Keep strong! Don’t cave in! We
are behind you! CHERYL WADLER MESKIN
Sir, – Christians and Muslims are
killing each other in Nigeria.
Sunnis and Shi’ites are killing each other
in Iraq, Libya, Tunisia and Syria. Violence is flaring in Egypt between
secularists and the Muslim Brotherhood. There’s non-stop Taliban savagery in
Afghanistan. Hamas is spending all its aid money on rockets to try and destroy
Israel – and the whole world condemns us for building houses for people to live
in? I feel like the boy looking at the king’s new clothes. Am I missing
something? MICHAEL DAVIDSON
Harrow on the Hill, UK
Sir, – Fascinating how the
declining West deplores our moves to build housing for our citizens in our
capital. The reason? It makes the division of Jerusalem impossible, which I,
foolishly, thought was a matter for negotiation, not a foregone
I suggest that the UK, France and the rest make a deal and
share their capitals with their own Muslim populations (while they still can).
In two generations the indigenous people of these benighted lands will be a
minority and succumb to the demands of the new majority.
will never yield to a people for whom compromise is impossible and who offer us
nothing in return for the capitulation they and their fellow-travelers demand as
At least the Arabs have red lines. Do we? If we do, why do we
never express them loud and clear to the entire world, as do our enemies?
Sir, – As European Union states and the US complain
over Israeli government decisions, they might reflect on their own recent
If EU states wished to have an influence over Israeli
decision-making, their UN ambassadors ought not have abstained or supported the
resolution recognizing a Palestinian state in defiance of long-accepted criteria
for statehood. Indeed, listening carefully through their headphones, they should
have walked out, one by one, during the speech given by Mahmoud Abbas, his
rhetoric far-removed from the language of peace and reconciliation.
for the US, if it wished to have greater influence over events, its government
might be better advised to base its policies on reality – in this case, by
responding to the UN resolution with a long-overdue declaration that Jerusalem
is located in Israel, not in Nevada, not in New Jersey, not in Nepal. At the
same time, the US, initiating a politics based on reality, could also note that
Jerusalem as it is (rather than as some might wish it to be) is indeed the
capital of the State of Israel – another fact easily established by
Sir, – How about a deal – we will
build one building for each missile the Palestinians send in to destroy us. We
fill the quota, then we talk!TZILIA SACHAROW
Jerusalem Cut elsewhere
Holocaust survivors are justified in condemning the Finance Ministry’s
“suspension” of their benefits for medical expenses (“Holocaust survivors
protest budget shortage,” December 3).
May I suggest that the ministry
find other ways to overcome its financial problems. It can start with a
two-thirds cut of the exorbitant wages, perks and pensions received by
politicians, past and present. It might also be a good idea to end the perks to
prime ministerial wives, and to demand that Aliza Olmert return the NIS 1
million a year she demanded from the Knesset’s Kadima-majority Finance Committee
when her husband was prime minister.TRUDY GEFEN
Kiryat Ono Wait it out
Sir, – The front page of your Comment & Features section of December 3 had
two articles: “A fresh policy in Syria: No-fly zone” and “The Syrian people need
urgent help from Israel and Turkey.”
The first argued that the US and
Israel should together set up and enforce a no-fly zone over Syria, grounding
that country’s air force and stopping its attacks on the rebels. Could anything
be more effective in uniting the Syrian population? The factions would forget
their differences and instantly come together to resist the “colonial
The second article, advocating joint action by Israel and
Turkey, is even less practical. Given Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip
Erdogan’s oft-expressed enmity toward Israel, the chances of this happening are
right up there with my chances of being elected pope.
Even if I’m wrong,
both articles ignore the likely outcome of the rebellion. The faction guaranteed
to be best organized and most numerous is the Sunni religious faction. It is the
religious factor that came to the fore in Iraq, threatening any hope of real
democracy. Whether your correspondents like it or not, the same is the
near-certain outcome in Syria – unless the various warlords split the country
into separate fiefdoms. Either outcome would be problematic for
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government have taken
exactly the right approach – do nothing and await the outcome. If anyone should
be concerned about the tens or hundreds of thousands of Arabs suffering in
Syria, the Arab League and its component states should be in the forefront.
Their deafening silence says all that needs to be said.LESLIE PORTNOY
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