April 29: Short memory
It would seem that the author of the failed Oslo Accords, despite his acclaimed memory, has a blind spot.
Sir, – It was with a heavy heart that I read your headline on
Remembrance Day, “Peres: Now is the time for a peace deal with the
Palestinians,” (April 25).
It would seem that the author of the failed
Oslo Accords, despite his acclaimed memory, has a blind spot. Since the 1993
Oslo Accords over 1,000 Israelis have been killed in suicide bombings which
began in 1994, the same year President Shimon Peres received the Nobel prize for
It is only seven years since Peres made his famous
admission that, “we shall not repeat the mistakes we made in leaving
An oft-used truism comes to mind: The road to hell is paved with
Sir, – Here he goes again.
How many times has President Shimon Peres said “Now is the time for a peace deal
with the Palestinians”? The record is wearing thin and surely it is time to face
reality and realize that they will never want peace but only
Sir, – With all due respect to
the office of the president of Israel, Shimon Peres must have his head in the
sand. I am surprised that with all his travels and meetings he doesn’t see that
Abbas is not a partner for peace.
Abbas announces he is for peace when he
is in front of an international audience but in front of his own people he
denies that. He honors terrorists and can’t even express the fact that Israel
will be a Jewish state.
Peres further states that a new peace agreement
will “'pacify” a “stormy Middle East.” He is joining other propagandists around
the world that are trying to convince everyone that an Israeli- Palestinian
peace agreement will solve all the problems in our neighborhood. It is my
suspicion that he merely wants to protect his reputation as a Nobel prize
On her own
Sir, –With the retroactive
“legalization” of three additional West Bank outposts despite worldwide
condemnation of further construction in the occupied West Bank, Israel once
again demonstrates that the greatest existential threats it faces are the
policies of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Likud (“PA, UN slam
legalization of 3 outposts,” April 25).
I speak with many in the United
States who dearly hope that, if Israel precipitates a war with Iran, our
government will show the courage that Dwight Eisenhower exhibited in 1956 when
Israel attacked Egypt and tell Israel that she is on her own.
Los Angeles, California
Sir, – In Isi Leibler’s recent
column, (“Personal Musings on aliya on Independence Day,” April 25) he makes a
good point that as a Jew one can find greater fulfillment by living in
But, sadly, I must take issue with one of his premises. He
writes: “And in a Jewish state where children automatically receive a Jewish
If only that were the case! Since making aliya six years
ago, I have taught in the Sternthal Reshit program of the Machon Hagavoah
Le’Torah at Bar-Ilan University. It is designed for young men and women who,
after 12 years of study in the Israeli school system lack the most basic Jewish
literacy, which their peers in the Diaspora can acquire even with minimal Jewish
They choose to study in Reshit because it provides them with
their first opportunity to find out what it means to be a Jew.
young man put it: “I always defined myself as a Jew without any real idea as to
what it meant.” There is much work to be done in Israel’s schools before
Leibler’s statement can ring true.
Sir, – I mostly agree to what Moshe Matalon writes (“Time to equalize the
national burden,” Comment and Features, April 25). But the photo and caption you
put next to it are absolutely misleading (“Think how many brigades they could
fill. Orthodox Jews listening to a speech in Jerusalem”). These are not Orthodox
Jews, these are haredi (ultra-Orthodox) males, some of whom may have served in
the army, even in combat units, while others have not, and some are too young to
serve in the army.
If you want to show people who don’t go to the army,
you should have shown also the many young unreligious and unpatriotic city
youngsters who don’t even have the pretense of studying but just “don’t feel
Orthodox Jews mostly wear regular clothes, and they contribute
their share or more to the economy and defense of our nation.
Sir, – Does Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov
Litzman live on another planet (“Litzman claims psychiatric reform is ‘much
closer,’” April 24)? Is he not aware that subsidies and promotion of infant
formula is a total contravention of the World Health Organization code on infant
nutrition. Let his ministry spend more on supporting breastfeeding, providing
roundthe- clock counsellors in hospitals, subsidizing training courses given by
recognized breastfeeding organizations and less on lining the pockets of formula
When will cabinet positions be given to people who are
qualified for the job instead of to those who maintain the status quo of the
The writer is a breastfeeding
counselor and prenatal teacher.
Sir, – It is so
shameful that nearly 100 years have elapsed since the Armenian genocide, and yet
that ghastly murderous massacre has never been fully or adequately
In his very poignant article, “The Armenian genocide, a
historical event that continues to haunt modern international relations”
(Comment and Features, April 24), author Harout Harry Semerdjian outlines how
1.5 million Armenians were killed, 500,000 dispersed worldwide and 3,000
churches were destroyed.
Horrendous, but nobody cared, neither the church
hierarchy, nor the European governments – forever fearful of the
US President Barack Obama’s campaign promise to recognize the
genocide did not come through, like many of his other promises. There is a
morbid fear of antagonizing Turkey, which refused to allow US troops to use the
much shorter through its country into Iraq, which must have resulted in the
needless loss of American lives. However America has remained powerless for a
variety of reasons such at Turkey’s strategic role in NATO, while its radical
Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to assume a dominant role in
world politics including a recent veto against Israel joining NATO.
Sir, – Dov Lipman’s opinion piece (“Why haredim
should be Zionists,” April 24) is quite interesting. Lipman forgot to mention
one source out of the Bible concerning the haredi stance on the state. The 10
spies were against entering and taking over the land promised to our forefathers
and some of their arguments were similar to those of the haredim today,
including things like lowering the level of religiosity and not having time to
The consequence was, as we know from the Torah text itself,
a longer exile and delay (up to 40 years) until we could enter the land of
Israel and obey the laws as they were given at Mount Sinai.
Even after we
entered, established ourselves, set up our own state and government we had to
wait about 300 years before Hashem allowed us to build our Temple.