July 7, 2015: Measuring up

It is indeed revealing to read how the entire European Union voted to adopt the UN Human Rights Council resolution that equated Israel and Hamas in the recent war in Gaza.

July 6, 2015 21:34

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Measuring up
It is indeed revealing to read how the entire European Union voted to adopt the UN Human Rights Council resolution that equated Israel and Hamas in the recent war in Gaza (“PM slams passage of UNHRC resolution on Israel’s ‘violations’ in Gaza war,” July 5).

The war started when many hundreds of rockets were fired by Hamas indiscriminately at Israeli cities. It was also revealed that Hamas prepared many underground tunnels to use to infiltrate Israel in order to attack civilians.

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Hamas openly does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. It calls for the elimination of Israel. It is also known to hide behind civilians, hospitals and mosques while firing rockets at Israel. It is absolutely clear that Israel had a duty to invade Gaza, even to eliminate this barbarian threat to the country and its citizens.

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The behavior by the EU members of the Human Rights Council reminds me of Psalms 83, regarding all the nations conspiring against Israel.

There is no proportionality when it comes to the army of an embattled democracy fighting against fanatical terrorists. I think Israel must publicly ask Britain, France and the other EU nations to keep an account if and when they bomb Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria. They should note how they compare to Israel in avoiding civilian casualties and in the proportionality of their own casualties compared to those on the other side.

If no one is above the law, how about them?


Time to decide
About 1,950 years ago almost to the day, according to the Hebrew calendar, the attacking Roman legions broke through the walls of Jerusalem. About three weeks later, the Temple was destroyed. A little later, Jerusalem was under total Roman rule.

The negotiators in Vienna are now said to have broken through “three major sticking points” between Iran and the P5+1 (“Breakthroughs reported in Iran nuclear talks,” July 5). Another opening has now been made that might lead to our destruction (and not just ours).

In a few days, Iran, which has stated its desire to destroy Israel, could be one year away from achieving a nuclear weapon.

According to US President Barack Obama, it could be a decade.

But the bottom line is that Iran will get the bomb.

The time has come to either adjust to a nuclear Iran or do something to stop it. It is the same kind of choice the West had to face in the 1930s. The result of the West’s initial inaction at that time was the death of 50 million people.

We in Israel face a similar choice. The walls of Jerusalem are about to be breached again by a nation whose stated desire is to destroy Israel. What will we do? This time we have the ability to do much. Do we have the desire and do we have the courage to take action on all fronts? Or will we leave our children and grandchildren to deal with a nuclear Iran? These are very difficult and dangerous questions, but it is time to make our decision!


The real robbers
I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment expressed in the protest banner shown in your July 5 Page 1 photo, which was used as the headline: “‘Stop the gas robbery!’” It’s high time we stopped the real gas robbery.

The real gas robbers are not the companies that want to extract and distribute natural gas – which was discovered in Israeli territorial waters at great expense and financial risk under the terms of legally acquired licenses – and make a hefty profit along the way. The robbers are the unsavory coalition of self-proclaimed social justice campaigners who are working to deprive investors of legitimately earned gains by retroactively worsening the terms under which they can do business by limiting the prices the companies may charge, restricting the quantities they may export and confiscating most of their profits as tax.

The religiously observant among us might ponder whether this accords with the Ten Commandments’ injunctions against envy and theft.

H. L. Mencken once defined puritanism as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.” Israel’s social activists seem to be motivated by a haunting fear that someone, somewhere might make money.

The appropriate emotional and policy response to someone who achieves remarkable financial success is Congratulations, not When do we get our cut? And no, I have no financial interest in the energy companies – no more than any other Israeli who wants to see his or her economy and geopolitical strength grow and prosper.


Incomplete account
Your coverage of a recent survey (“Poll: Most reject gestures to the Palestinians,” July 3) didn’t contain much information.

I would like to know the following: 1. How many people were questioned for the survey? 2. How many were necessary to make the findings reliable? 3. Were the opinions of people from places other than Jerusalem and Tel Aviv included? 4. Were people from the periphery questioned, too? 5. Were the opinions of Israeli Arabs included? 6. Was there a fair cross-section of Israeli society, or was it just people from a certain sector? It seems to me that this poll may have given a not-entirely- true account of Israeli opinions on the topics included in the survey.


Poor timing
With regard to “Israeli films at the heart of the J’lem Film Fest” (Arts & Entertainment, June 30), I enjoy going to a good movie and was looking forward to the Jerusalem Film Festival. But to my dismay, when I looked at the calendar I realized it would be taking place during the three weeks of mourning leading up to Tisha Be’av, marking the destruction of the First and Second Temples.

I am offended that out of the whole year, the organizers chose a time in which we should not be attending movies. I hope they will use better judgment next year.


Own goal
The Scottish Friends of Palestine (SFoP), an anti-Israel fringe group advocating on behalf of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, scored an own-goal on its Facebook page when, in order to prove that Palestine had once been a nation, displayed a 1939 Pathe Gazette film of an Australia versus Palestine international soccer match.

Failing to confirm the true facts, SFoP showed a clip of what was the Maccabi Tel Aviv soccer club’s 1939 tour of Australia. All of the “Palestinian team” was Jewish.

STANLEY GROSSMAN Glasgow - The writer is a member of the Scottish Friends of Israel.

Silent on milestone
Your paper is usually careful to mark significant milestones in the lives of individuals who are important to our people and country. It was a disappointment, therefore, that you missed the 100th birthday of the great Jewish-American author Herman Wouk, which took place on May 27.

In 20th-century literature, there are few writers who can compare to Wouk when it comes to telling a story. In non-fiction, his personal handling of Judaism in the masterful This is My God continues to reverberate with strength after more than 50 years.

May Herman Wouk live to 120 years in good health!


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