December 7, 2016: Amona and Hellenists

Regarding “Settlement bill advances as Amona hangs in the balance” (December 6), we’ve heard this before, haven’t we?

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December 6, 2016 21:55
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Amona and Hellenists

Regarding “Settlement bill advances as Amona hangs in the balance” (December 6), we’ve heard this before, haven’t we? Peaceful, rural Amona has seen more than its share of violence – a few years ago, homes were destroyed by the government for phantom/fantasy Arab “landowners.”

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is talking out of both sides of his mouth, with forked lips or whatever colorful euphemism you’d like to use. And when he and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett went head-to-head concerning Amona, Bennett blinked.

No great surprise. We have a government that the media love to label as right-wing, but those of us who are truly on the Right believe in the primacy of Jewish rights to live on our holy land and want the State of Israel to be fully sovereign, not just playacting when campaigning for our votes.

Why does the same government that is planning to move the tax-paying, productive and patriotic Jewish families of Amona legalize Beduin squatter encampments in southern Israel and other locations? Why can’t the retroactive legislation include Amona?

The left-wing establishment here in Israel expected the disengagement from the Gaza Strip to break us, but we are bitter, not brittle. We are like the grape vines that grow through cracks in cement. We have survived many enemies, Jewish as well as non-Jewish.

As we prepare to celebrate the Hanukka holiday, we are reminded of the Hellenists who tried to adopt Greek values and endanger the Jews who remained loyal to God and Judaism. When will we ever learn?

BATYA MEDAD
Shiloh


What would we call the people living in Amona if these were the times of the British Mandate? We would hail them as heroes because they stand up for their rights!

Now that Israel has its own government, though, the rules are different. The High Court of Justice acts in a way that the people of Israel never would have accepted under the British.

The court must finally understand that justice is not blind, and that there are reality factors, mainly in human lives, that warrant legal interpretations meant to be lived with.

As our national anthem states, we are “a free people in a free land.”

TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem


Not racist

Ruthie Blum’s “Note to Israelis: The US is not racist” (Right from Wrong, December 5) rings so true to me after having just returned from a holiday in the US, where we spent time in Orlando, New Orleans and Philadelphia, and mingled liberally with the masses.

Most every time, we were asked where we came from, and we said “Israel.” We encountered enthusiasm from the people (none of them Jewish), including a large number of Uber taxi drivers, both men and women, who came from all walks of life. Some even became emotional and said they must visit Israel, “an amazing place.”

No politics emerged anywhere. It’s definitely the media that’s to blame.

LINDA STERN
Safed


Ruthie Blum hits the nail on the head when she concludes that “there is nothing but skewed coverage of the Trump phenomenon to suggest that racism is rampant in US.” But it is a sad commentary on the state of media reporting.

In the past year or so, pundits have unsuccessfully attempted to manipulate polls and distort information to the public. At times, they have emphasized the trivial, whether it’s Trump’s “locker-room boasting” or Sara Netanyahu’s collection of empty bottles, while minimizing information, such as the benefits for British citizens of leaving the European Union.

Despite the doomsayers’ predictions of impending calamity, Englishmen are on the road to increased prosperity, and Benjamin Netanyahu remains our prime minister, with no serious opponents. Now, Donald Trump, with his outstanding cabinet choices, can truly reposition the US to attain its former position of greatness.

ROBERT DUBLIN
Jerusalem


Outrageous comparison

Oren Kesler’s “Netanyahu, like Castro, will never change” (Comment & Features, December 5) is the most outrageous comparison I have ever seen about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and there is a very large selection to choose from in the media.

No matter what one thinks of Netanyahu, his personality and/or his policies, it is reprehensible to compare him to a murderer and dictator such as Fidel Castro. Mr. Kesler owes not only the prime minister, but also the Jewish people an apology.

ELI SCHMELL
Rehovot

Oren Kesler is credited as being an expert on Latin America. Maybe that explains the bizarre content of his piece, since democracy has not been a significant element in the history of that region’s countries, which have been more inclined to revolution and dictatorship for the past 100 years.

What is especially egregious is Kesler’s likening of Fidel Castro, one of the worst despots in recent history – and not just in Latin America – with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Whatever one might say about the prime minister’s positions, policies and ambitions, you have to agree that he is the elected leader of a fully democratic country, while Castro was the self-appointed, autocratic ruler of a subject people that had absolutely no say in his policies.

Saying, as Kesler does, that Netanyahu is navigating Israel onto the same road as Cuba under Castro is ridiculous, if not actually insulting to the Israeli electorate, which put our prime minister where he is.

HENRY KAYE
Ashkelon

UN protection

With regard to “UNGA passes six votes condemning Israel, again” (December 1), the Palestinians, as a people, were created in 1964 when the KGB and Egypt set up the PLO to drive the Jews out of Israel.

From the start of the British Mandate for Palestine until 1948, only local Jews referred to themselves as Palestinians. Arabs identified with their countries of origin: They were Egyptians, Syrians, etc. According to “The Smoking Gun: Arab Immigration into Palestine, 1922-1931” by Fred M. Gottheil (Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2003), most migrated to Palestine in the 1920s and ’30s at the encouragement of their leaders and to find employment.

The PLO refined terrorism as a means of diplomacy. It invented airplane hijacking for political purposes and was successful in projecting its cause onto the world stage.

Suicide bombings and vehicles ramming into crowds are more recent innovations, as are arson and knife attacks. These modes of destruction are now standard Islamist terror methods used internationally. In addition, the BDS movement and claims of Israeli “apartheid” are Palestine’s way of harassing Jewish university students.

For these achievements, the Palestinians are protected by the United Nations.

LEN BENNETT
Ottawa

While I understand Judaism’s outrage over the denial by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of any ties to Jerusalem, I am perplexed by the silence of the Vatican and other Christian denominations.

The UN is not only denying Judaism – it is denying the Christian scriptures and Christianity’s history.

SAM ROSENBLUM
Beit Shemesh

CORRECTION
Due to a printing error, the bottom row of Monday’s New York Times crossword puzzle clues did not appear. The missing row was:

Across:
103 Java neighbor
Down:
29 Student taking contracts, maybe
78 Pride-parade letters
94 “I’m waiting...?”
100 Poet who wrote, “In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost” 110 Tire measure: Abbr.
116 Swell
116 Swell


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