Kol hakavod to Adam Basciano and Eli W. Kowaz for “10 reasons two states must be advanced” (Comment & Features, January 9), and to The Jerusalem Post for publishing it, providing much-needed balance to the many opinion pieces and letters to the editor critical of a twostate resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I think their 10 arguments are valuable and indisputable, but perhaps most important are that “[a]lmost the entire retired and current Israeli security establishment unequivocally states: taking steps to advance two states is the only way to ensure Israel’s security,” and that a settlement would leave most Jews in Judea and Samaria to remain within Israel’s slightly modified borders.
Of course, getting such a resolution to the conflict will not be easy, and there is much truth to Abba Eban’s statement that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
However, Israel should make obtaining a resolution a priority, with conditions for maximizing its security. Such a resolution will be essential if it’s to avert continued and potentially increased violence and diplomatic criticism and isolation; effectively respond to its economic, environmental and other domestic problems; and remain a Jewish and democratic state.
RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ Shoresh Adam Basciano and Eli W.
Kowaz quote a poll reported on Reshet Bet stating that 61% of Israelis support the two-state solution.
I heard about the poll. The question asked was: Do you support annexing parts of Judea and Samaria to Israel proper? A whopping 70% agreed to this idea; 30% agreed to annexing some of the lands in Judea and Samara, and 39% agreed to annexing all of the land.
Somehow, after the poll was reported, one of the writers apparently added together the 30% supporting some annexation with the 30% favoring two states, and claimed that the majority of Israelis support a Palestinian State. This is distorted writing.
What kind of Palestinian state would it be? Like Syria, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen? Is this the kind of state we want five minutes away? It is a known fact that the Palestinians count in their population census at least one million people living abroad. I do not think we have to worry about demographics.
Have the writers also taken into account that the Gaza Strip and so-called West Bank will never get together, something that would actually give them two states (and three, if you include Jordan, which has a majority of Palestinians living there)? Have they taken into account that the Palestinians have not budged one iota on their maximalist demands? This treatise defies logic! NANCY CHERNOFSKY Jerusalem Kerry’s warning...
With regard to “Kerry, Abbas warn of an ‘explosion’ of violence with Jerusalem embassy move” (January 8), I don’t think the Arab street will be ignited if the US merely relocates its embassy to Jerusalem, as it didn’t seem to explode when Israel took control of the Temple Mount in 1967. Why would the change of location of the embassy make a difference? I also think US Secretary of State John Kerry should be loudly asked in Congress what justification he has for continuing to send US funding to the Palestinian Authority even though it sends some of these funds to jailed terrorists and their families.
If he is really interested in Arab unrest, why is there no interruption of US funding when the Palestinians use it to encourage and glorify acts of violence?
BEN KLEIN New York John
Kerry’s ominous warning is a fitting coda to the disastrous decline of US influence as leader of the free world. His doomsday portent, intended to forestall a possible initiative by the Trump administration, adds dangerous fuel to the incitement and threats of Palestinian violence.
No less notorious, Kerry’s conspicuous omission of even a passing reference to Israel’s right to expect foreign governments to locate their embassies in its ancient capital is an abandonment of America’s historic role as a fair and honest intermediary in its dealings with other countries, especially its allies.
JACK E. FRIEDMAN Jerusalem...and failures
Regarding “Israel ‘overlooked positives’ in Kerry speech – US official” (January 6), so comes another absurd statement from an official associated with the Obama administration.
John Kerry is unique in achieving what no other secretary of state has – a record that is 100% failure in every international crisis he interfered in, from Nigeria to South Sudan and Syria, to name but a very few, culminating in the worst of all, the nuclear absurdity with Iran. His statement to the world that Syria agreed to give up all its chemical and biological weapons comes a close second, and is a masterpiece in the delusional.
Kerry will ride off into the sunset still thinking that peace with the Palestinians is possible, and blaming Israel for all his failures.
I. KEMP Nahariya Use vs. ownership With regard to Caroline B.
Glick’s “The PLO’s zero-sum game” (Our World, January 3), various “peace plans” suggest that only two choices exist for Israel: peace or retaining the settlements.
So creative thinking is needed.
Countries don’t necessarily have contiguous territory. Kaliningrad is a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea; the territory is geographically separated from the rest of Russia. In America, Alaska is separated from the 48 contiguous states by Canada.
And in the Baarle region on the Belgian-Dutch border, some Belgian enclaves completely surround Dutch territory, and some Dutch territory surrounds Belgian territory.
Ownership of land is not the same as use of land. All over the world, nations lease and use land owned by other nations – for example, for military bases, trade organizations and diplomatic missions. Under a permanent peace arrangement, the Palestinians could lease to Israel the land under some settlements.
CHARLES EDWIN MYERS Bethesda, MarylandCheerful greeting
I recently returned from Cairo, where I noticed that on the desk in my hotel room, there was a small picture of Mecca under the glass top, with an arrow pointing in the direction that a devout Muslim should face when praying.
It would be a good idea for those Jewish people staying in kosher hotels where there might not be a minyan or synagogue nearby, and who wish to pray according to the custom of facing in the direction of Jerusalem and the Western Wall, to have a picture of the Kotel with a directional arrow.
But then again, maybe this would be considered by those with a ghetto mentality as being too progressive! My Torah, in Psalm 133:1, clearly tells me that it is good and pleasant for all Israel to dwell together. I would have thought that we had enough problems in the world without our own ISIS (Israel’s Shocking, Indoctrinated Sibylics). Rashi actually comments on “all Israel” as Israel together, coexisting without jealousy, with God in the Holy Temple, which used to have various allocated areas.
(May it be speedily rebuilt in our days.) As an orthodox rabbi, I will stand with my fellow Jews who wish to pray at a designated area of the Western Wall, even if their religious outlook is termed “progressive.” I hope others will join me, and in accordance with Shammai’s maxim in Ethics (1: 15), greet everyone cheerfully.
LEONARD E. BOOK Ashkelon
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