January 5: Well interpreted

January 4, 2015 21:21

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Well interpreted

Sir, – With regard to “New study of UN Resolution 242 could alter views of Israeli-Arab conflict” (January 2), the Supreme Court, when it gives its opinion on agreements or contracts, argues that it tries to understand what the original drafters had in mind. The studies and interpretations of Resolution 242 do not need our imagination, as we have the drafters’ reasoning in their own words.

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Lord Caradon, one of the architects of the resolution, said: “It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because these positions were undesirable and artificial.

After all, they were just the places where the soldiers on each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That is why we do not demand that the Israelis return to them and I think we were right not to.”

And Steven Schwebel, head of the International Court of Justice, said in 1970 on those armistice lines: “Where the prior holder of territory [Jordan] had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has against the prior holder better title.”

It does not seem to me, therefore, that any other understanding of 242 and the armistice lines need be further interpreted.

Beit Shemesh

Closer to home

Sir, – With regard to your January 2 editorial “Film censorship,” you do not have to go as far as Etihad Airways. Turkish Airlines, which is very well liked here in Israel (I flew it), does not mention Tel Aviv as a destination in its in-flight magazine.


Don’t sanitize

Sir, – Once again, Liat Collins has written brilliantly what so many are thinking (“The statehood bid and gamble,” My Word, January 2). My only question is why the selection of such a benign photo – a formal, dignified image of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the grave of Yasser Arafat? For its 50th anniversary, Abbas’s Fatah movement posted on its Facebook page vile photos, one of them a pile of skulls with Stars of David on them. Members burned US and Israeli flags to celebrate the occasion.

Yes, such images might have shocked your readers. But using a sanitized image is not doing the public any favor.



Distasteful depths

Sir, – Martin Sherman’s venomous “Delusional, destructive Left vs incompetent, impotent Right” (Into the Fray, January 2) crosses the line of decent journalism.

How dare he use the inciting terms “disloyal” and “borderline treasonous” when referring to the Left, and how does The Jerusalem Post allow this? Mr. Sherman ingeniously offers balance by calling the Right “impotent” and “incompetent,” yet it should be noted that he is not referring to its management of the country, rather to his claim that “it has been manifestly incapable of vanquishing its left-wing rivals.” Does he not know that we have had rightwing governments for the past decade and more? He claims that the Oslo process is the “seminal event” that separates Left from Right in Israeli politics, and mocks the late Yitzhak Rabin for trying to implement those accords, lumping him together with Amos Oz and Yossi Beilin as proponents of political appeasement, citing insidiously Sudetenland and the Nazis in 1938! A more appropriate association with the Nazi past would be Sherman’s own Goebbels-like distortions of the truth.

It is well to remember that both the Left and the Right have been responsible for this country’s great achievements and unfortunate errors over the years. Sharply critical debate is acceptable, but neither side can, nor should, be labeled disloyal or treasonous.

The Post should ensure that debates in its pages do not descend to such distasteful depths.



Good on her

Sir, – How refreshing it is to have in our midst such a person as Anett Haskia, author of “I am not a traitor” (Observations, January 2). I hope she succeeds in her bid to win a place on Bayit Yehudi’s Knesset list. She deserves it. And bless her sons for their service to this country.

In the meantime, my advice to her is keep going, don’t give up.

And “watch your back” as much from the Israeli Left as from elements of the Arab population.



Not surprising

Sir, – Gil Troy writes of his disgust about the proposal by the American Historical Association to single out Israel for boycott (“Dear fellow historians, vote no to boycotting Israel and preventing dialogue,” Center Field, December 31).

The group’s vote is not surprising.

There is a Jewish belief that we live in a world of falsehood, as opposed to a world of truth in the afterlife. Three shocking examples:

• Arundathi Roy, who has been called the “conscience of India,” wrote a powerful article on the country’s horrific caste system in the December issue of the British magazine Prospect. It is revolting to read that in “the world’s largest democracy,” so-called untouchables collect human excrement, including those who pick it up by hand, without gloves, from railway tracks.

South Africa has become “a light unto the nations” because it has cast off the repulsive apartheid system. Yet the country is a nightmare – a world leader in rapes, particularly the rape of children; in the number of women with AIDS because they were infected by their husbands; and in murders.

• April 2015 marks the centenary of the beginning of the Turkish massacre of over a million Armenians, the first genocide of the 20th century. I Googled “Armenian genocide” and received 643,000 results. Yet when I Googled the terms nakba and al-nakba, I received a combined 771,000 results. It was caused by the Arabs themselves and was minor compared to the Armenian horror.


Well done, Bibi

Sir, – Whether sincere or not, Hamas’s claim (“Hamas: We are committed to cease-fire with Israel,” December 26) shows our prime minister in a most heroic fashion.

The previous week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not stand by quietly if there was shooting from the Gaza Strip (“PM after Hamas attack: I won’t tolerate even 1 rocket,” December 21). He acted upon it. That retaliation brought about the December 26 headline.

Congratulations, Bibi!



Luck of the Irish

Sir, – Each day, as I read my Jerusalem Post, I get more and more confused as to which party I should vote for on March 17.

Each day brings more disturbing highlights of MKs and their misdemeanors.

I was born in Dublin and hope that some of our Irish traditions might help this country to once and for all get itself on the right track so that we have a strong Knesset on which we can rely. So here goes.

I thought “laundering” meant washing; I found out it has a different meaning here. St. Patrick drove out the snakes in Ireland; perhaps we should find a saint (or perhaps a trustworthy rabbi) who would drive out all the snakes in the Knesset! Why not be like Ireland’s Fianna Fáil, whose slogan was “vote early and often”? You never know what the luck of the Irish could bring you!



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