July 8: Who’s sorry now?
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hard line – including support for Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran – demonstrates Ankara’s sharp turn toward Islamism.
Who’s sorry now?
Sir, – Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman was wrong to cite the
US refusal to apologize for killing 25 Pakistani soldiers when he was discussing
Israel’s refusal to apologize to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara deaths (“US apology
to Pakistan may pave way for similar Israel-Turkey rapprochement,” July 5).
There are vast differences between.
The Pakistani soldiers who died as
the result of an accidental US helicopter attack posed no threat to American
The armed thugs who died aboard the Mavi Marmara
initiated the confrontation. Had they not attacked Israeli commandos who legally
boarded the ship there would have been no injuries or deaths.
apology has already achieved its main goal: Pakistan has announced it will
reopen NATO’s supply lines into neighboring Afghanistan.
line’s closure was costing the US $100 million per month. Still, the US refused
to accede to any Pakistani demands (e.g., a cessation of all drone strikes
within Pakistan) other than the apology.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan’s hard line – including support for Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran –
demonstrates Ankara’s sharp turn toward Islamism.
temporarily thawing the frozen bilateral relations, an Israeli apology would
only raise Turkey’s stature in the Arab world by highlighting its willingness to
oppose the Zionist entity. Iran would be emboldened as its strongest ally in the
region celebrates a clear victory against their common nemesis.
likely would continue to demand that Israel lift the Gaza blockade, and in the
end Israel would have very little to show for its submission to a country whose
interests lie elsewhere.
On the other hand, Israel should certainly be
willing to restore normal relations once Turkey apologizes.
Rights on the Mount
Sir, – Michael Freund is absolutely
right (“Anti-Semitism on the Temple Mount,” Fundamentally Freund, July 5). Where
is the outcry when Jewish rights are trampled? Why do we let this discrimination
continue? Jews don’t riot when Arabs pray there, so why should they be allowed
to do so when we pray there? We should have taken real control of the Temple
Mount in 1967.
Our police should stand up for equal rights, allow Jews to
pray there and put down forcefully any riots the Arabs start until they
understand they cannot be there unless they are peaceful. The world will surely
scream, but it screams anyway. It will learn to respect us if we respect
Have the lessons of history already been lost? Why do we
consistently fear to stand up for ourselves? If we don’t, no one
Sir, – Finally, someone speaks out loudly on
the outrageous policy of not allowing Jews to pray on the Temple
Hopefully, others will follow Michael Freund by coming out against
the current policy of discrimination.
Where are the human rights
organizations that never cease blaming Israel for the most trivial things? Where
are the left-wing organizations that care about social justice? Where are our
religious leaders? Where are the religious Zionists who refuse to go up to the
Temple Mount even though we know exactly where to walk and where not to walk? If
we don’t use it we will lose it, and that is apparently what is
Sir, – What is it that makes us so
ready to crawl and grovel to those that attack us, always ready to apologize,
always ready to admit we’re in the wrong? Our attitude is humiliating and only
We would do better to involve ourselves in correcting the
disgraceful attitude toward Jews on our holiest site at the Temple Mount. We are
a disgrace to ourselves and to those who died in liberating
There should be but one answer if there is even a vestige of
pride left in this government: Take back our holy sites. Only in a black comedy
would your enemy be put in charge of that which is holiest to you.
Sir, – The Temple Mount is the focal point of Zion. As Zionists,
how dare we allow the fundamentalist Islamic Wakf to dictate Jewish behavior on
the site! It was a major error to give the Wakf these powers after the
miraculous victory of the Six Day War. By doing so we sacrificed Jewish
sensibilities to Muslim sensibilities. We’re now in the same position the
British were in during the Mandate period when they prohibited Jews from
sounding the shofar at the Western Wall during Rosh Hashana and at the end of
Yom Kippur, lest it upset the Arabs.
After 64 years as free Jews in an
independent State of Israel, it’s time we relinquish those Diaspora values of
deferring to the gentiles.
HAIM M. LERNER
Regarding “PA incapable of paying June salaries” (July 4), two steps could be
taken immediately to balance the Palestinians’ budget.
First, stop paying
$5 million per month to terrorists in Israeli jails. Second, stop wasting 60
percent of the Palestinian Authority budget by paying civil service salaries to
Fatah loyalists in Gaza who are not working.
These payments are thinly
disguised bribes to ensure loyalty to Fatah. The PA should instead plow the
money into infrastructure and development, and watch its economy pick up and job
In the meantime it should make Hamas pay its own bills
in Gaza. Maybe if the terror entity has to cover its own costs it won’t be
spending so much on missiles.
Sir, – I would
like to give some free advice to the Palestinian Authority as to how solve its
The shortfall of $1.4 billion is approximately the
amount stolen by Palestinian hero Yasser Arafat and which seems to have ended up
in the hands of his merry widow. Why the PA should choose to ignore this and
instead – predictably – blame the occupation is a question that should be taken
Sir, – Reader James Adler
(“Two-way street,” Letters, July 1) asks: “If the Green Line is really dead and
buried, is the blockade to movement being kissed goodbye in both directions? Or
is one of the two peoples still impeded at the border while the other is free to
move across?” The answer is clear. Arabs may be “impeded” but they have freedom
of movement if they aren’t carrying weapons or explosives. I, as a Jew, am
barred from visiting the Joseph’s Tomb, the ancient synagogue floor outside
Jericho, and countless other sites germane to my culture and history. And even
though there is no barrier or big red warning sign, I enter Issawiya, the
village neighboring my home in French Hill, at great risk.
asymmetry does exist, but there is some hope.
A minor example: Notified
that a book was waiting for me I went to the local post office to find “standing
room only,” with most of those waiting residents of Issawiya.
immediately a young man from that neighborhood, culturally unaware that
Westerners don’t like to be reminded of their age, stood up to give me his
If respect for age can transcend borders of “peoplehood,” one can
look forward to a time when geographical borders become
SYDNEY L. KASTEN