Salma Khatib (“The Oslo generation,” Comment & Features, June 8) sounds like a well-intentioned and nuanced young person who truly believes her grievances are legitimate. But she was born in 1986 and has a frame of reference that stretches barely 20 years.
Despite all their proclaimed issues, Palestinian Arabs share the health, life expectancy, sanitary conditions and educational opportunities of Israelis. Back in 1967, this was not the case.
Those of us who were here at that time remember the abject filth, running sewers, dismal education and awful health that was pretty much Arab reality under Arab rule.
For years, following the Six Day War, there were no checkpoints or barriers. Palestinian Arabs had green license plates but could otherwise travel freely within Israel’s pre-1967 borders.
Hundreds of thousands of them were employed in Israel, allowing them to develop themselves, enjoy genuine prosperity and follow the example of Israelis in order to upgrade their lifestyle, health, education and longevity.
That there are today separation walls and checkpoints, Ms. Khatib has only the Palestinian leadership to thank (and the do-gooders of Oslo to blame – the architects of the Oslo Accords, by allowing the thugs and murderers who were isolated in Tunis to come to Judea and Samaria, ostensibly to create a democratic Palestinian state, helped unleash a tsunami of Arab murder and mayhem that made barriers and checkpoints a matter of life and death).
If only I could take Ms. Khatib on a walk through the Old City or Hebron of June 1967, she would be mortified and would instantly appreciate how and why Palestinian Arabs now enjoy a quality of life that is the envy of the Arab world. Then, perhaps, she might understand how Yasser Arafat and his thugs so effectively turned her people into worshipers of death.YOHANAN AV-YAIR
I was dismayed that your newspaper devoted an entire page to the revisionist Arab propaganda of Salma Khatib.
Khatib writes: “I was born in 1986. The embarrassing thing is that a lot of people of my generation don’t know much about the Oslo Agreement.” She might have added that they are ignorant of the history of the region.
The many lies, distortions and innuendo in this piece can be addressed through the words of the late, great Jeanne Kirkpatrick, US ambassador to the UN from 1981 to 1985: “The long march through the UN has created many benefits for the PLO.
It has created a people where there was none; an issue where there was none; a claim where there was none. Now the PLO is seeking to create a state where there already is one (Israel).”
Kirkpatrick’s words remain as true today as they were then.ROSLYN PINE
London Leave Elon alone
Two recent Jerusalem Post items about Rabbi Moti Elon smell of yellow journalism (“Crime and no punishment,” Editorial, June 8; “Elon, convicted of indecent assault, opens study center,” June 7).
You didn’t like the original verdict, which you claim was a “tap on the wrist”; therefore, you use every opportunity to smear him.
The record speaks for itself.
Rabbi Elon was tried, convicted and sentenced. He served his punishment. He deserves a second chance.MEL SHAY
Jerusalem Right kind of light
One important way for African countries to respect Israel is if it would address the pressing plight of Ethiopian Jews (“Five reasons Israelis should get excited about country’s improved ties with Africa,” June 6).
A glorious chapter of Zionism occurred when Israel rescued a Jewish tribe from obscurity and doom in Africa. Now Ethiopian Jews are trapped in discrimination and poverty, a highly disproportionate number of them failing to matriculate and locked up in prisons, an ugly stain on Zionism.
Herb Keinon mentions that when Israelis instructed Africans before 1967, it was fulfilling the Zionist ideal of being a “light unto the nations.” More important, though, is Israel being a “light unto the Jewish nation.”
On June 3, I heard Sharon Shalom speak at a local shul.
Born in Ethiopia, he is a rabbi of a shul in Kiryat Gat and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan and Tel Aviv universities.
Imagine that Israel produced many more dynamic Ethiopian Jews like him! African countries would then truly admire Israel, which would stand out from America, another western country, where blacks are mired in crime, poverty and racism.JACOB MENDLOVIC
Toronto Providing balance
Kol hakavod for striving to provide balance in your June 6 Comment & Features section by providing two views of US President Donald Trump’s move regarding the 2015 Paris climate pact: “A smart decision” and “Worst move of Trump’s life.”
In considering which article is closer to the truth, we should recognize that Trump’s decision to withdraw from a pact agreed to by all of the 195 attending nations, including Israel and the United States, has been condemned by many heads of nations, climate experts, environmentalists, CEOs, religious leaders, governors, mayors and others. It is hard to believe that they could all be wrong.
Nicolas Loris and Katie Tubb, the authors of “A smart decision,” are right in stating that the agreement was not sufficiently strong and left each country free to decide how they would be willing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the Obama administration did not push for a stronger agreement because it would have required congressional approval, and the writers know that this would not be forthcoming because the vast majority of Republican congressional members are, like Trump, in denial about climate change.
Meanwhile, temperatures keep increasing, oceans keep rising, glaciers and polar ice caps keep melting, deserts keep expanding and climate events become increasingly severe.
Instead of withdrawing the US from the agreement, Trump should have demanded that it be greatly strengthened to help avert a catastrophe and help shift our imperiled planet toward a sustainable path.RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ
Shoresh Dismantle the elite!
Susan Hattis Rolef protests what she describes as attempts to “dismantle” Israel’s liberal “elite” and claims that these putative efforts are destructive of “democratic” values (“Why can’t we be a little more like the British?” Think About It, June 5).
Actually, rule by an “elite” is the antithesis of democracy, which means “rule by the people.”
Rule by an elite is what Aristotle defined as aristocracy (if by good people) or oligarchy (if run by bad people).
To the extent that Israel is ruled by an elite, liberal or otherwise, the time is long overdue to dismantle it and restore power to those to whom it belongs – the Israeli people.JOHN LANDAU
Port Jervis, New York CORRECTION
The article “Jewish businesses show solidarity with Arab shops closed by Jerusalem Day” (May 25) incorrectly stated the circumstances behind the closing of Arab shops in the Muslim Quarter during the Jerusalem Day Flag March. The article stated that police forced the shops to close. While police do maintain street closures in the Muslim Quarter that restrict access to the march route, there were no orders from police to close shops, according to a police spokesman. Shops in the Muslim Quarter along the march route closed because tens of thousands of marchers walking through the area made it unfeasible to stay open, and some shop owners said they feared confrontations with the marchers.