July 16: Ask your driver
If you want to know what people are really saying, ask a taxi driver. The word in the street is that most people are incensed by Olmert.
Sir, – The fact that Ehud Olmert was found guilty of what is now
being termed a lesser charge of breach of trust should effectively cause him to
hang his head in shame and disappear from public life. However, he and his
supporters seem to be treating the outcome as an unmitigated victory and there
is talk of him returning to politics (“Olmert could pose threat to Netanyahu in
election, poll finds,” July 13).
Although the poll seems to indicate a
level of support for Olmert, I wouldn’t be too sure.
If you want to know
what people are really saying, ask a taxi driver. The word in the street is that
most people are incensed.
Too much to lift
– An anti-Semitic cartoon was awarded a first prize of 5,000 euros in the
Iranian “Wall Street Downfall” competition (“Iranian Libel,” July 13). I wonder
why the prize money wasn’t in Iranian currency.
Sir, – The angry reaction by the Left to the Levy Commission report is
appearing in the newspapers. No surprise there.
What is of interest is
that in several pieces, including Hirsh Goodman’s “OK, you’ve won; now what?”
(PostScript, July 13), leftist belief obliterates international
Goodman goes so far as to impugn the integrity of the commissioners
in order to demonstrate the worthlessness of the commission’s finding that
Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are legal. This decision, based on
international law, tears at the banner phrase “illegal settlements” and is so
poisonous to left-wingers that they must pull out all the stops in order to
refute it, as we see in this lamentation.
Goodman complains that “others
[are] conveniently rewriting history and interpreting the law to suit their
Unfortunately, he doesn’t understand that he is among the
“others.” Had he bothered to read the League of Nations mandate for Palestine,
the San Remo Resolution and Article 80 of the UN Charter, he would not have
written a column displaying his ignorance of applicable international
Sir, – Hirsh Goodman doesn’t want to live in
a country where a third of the people can’t vote and have no rights. What does
he think is going on in the Palestinian Authority today? Mahmoud Abbas was
elected to serve as president until Jan. 9, 2009. He continues to rule as
a dictator with zero accountability, which doesn’t seem to bother anyone –
certainly not the international community, which continues to regard him as
having been democratically elected.
Instead of weeping into his shrimp
cocktail over the oppressed Palestinians, who have failed to create a functional
civic culture despite the support and encouragement of the entire civilized
world, Goodman should go to Syria and lecture its people on how lucky they are
to be first-class citizens in their own country. Or to Lebanon. Or to Saudi
Or to Libya. Or to Egypt.
Sir, – It’s
very apparent that Hirsh Goodman is very frustrated because he wants a
Palestinian state more than the Palestinians themselves. It’s curious that he
and others always place responsibility for a successful Palestinian state upon
Maybe Goodman should be asking Mahmoud Abbas and others what they
have done for the improvement of their lives.
Are we, the people of
Israel responsible for everything?
Sir, – Oh no!
Not again! I have visions of an Orwellian 1984 when Hirsh Goodman writes that
“[demographer and former diplomat Yoram] Ettinger has been diligently counting
and others conveniently rewriting history and interpreting the law to suit their
Does Goodman really believe that the only demographics to
accept are those presented by the Palestinians? And who is it that has “really”
been rewriting history? Perhaps saddest of all is his desire to “throw in the
How childish. I can’t have it my way so I quit!
Sir, – Hirsh Goodman concludes his column with an admission that’s easy
to believe: “I just don’t know what to do about it.”
For him this is a
reason to write. Why doesn’t the Post look for a columnist who knows?
Sir, – Your editorial “Curbing the influx”
(July 12) is an excellent analysis of the matter of migrants and deserves to be
forwarded to the Knesset.
It is time to open the eyes of our
It’s in the power
Sir, – Gil Troy
(“Yes, there is no occupation – legally and historically, not morally or
practically,” Center Field, July 11) writes that while Israel’s presence in the
West Bank and Jerusalem may be legal, it is not morally or practically
justified or smart. This leads one to conclude that laws in the international
arena may not matter – only realpolitik and strength do.
Article 80 of
the United Nations Charter specifically states that “nothing in this Chapter
shall be construed in and of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever
of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments
to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.” In
conclusion, by its own charter the United Nations cannot interfere in the issue
of the areas known as Israel and Jordan.
UN resolutions, even Security
Council resolutions 242 and 138, are illegal under its own law. Thus Israel,
according to Troy’s thesis, can keep all the areas and develop them as long as
it has the power to do so.
Sir, – Gil
Troy states first the confirmation of the British mandate over Palestine by the
League of Nations, in which Jews were given the “rights to settle between the
Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, given ‘the historical connection of the
Jewish people with Palestine.’ Those rights remain.”
He follows this
with, “November 29 will mark the 65th anniversary of the UN partition plan which
due to the 1948 war was not fully implemented. This created a legally
ambiguous situation in the West Bank....”
Oh, really? Even if his first
statement were incorrect and the second true, the fact that the Arabs did not
accept the partition plan and attacked the fledgling Jewish state meant the UN
plan was no longer on the table and all the land reverted legally to the Jews.
Because Jordan illegally occupied Judea and Samaria and Israel won it back in
1967 after the Jordanians initiated an attack, it once again legally belongs to
the Jewish state.
Even I, no lawyer, know that this is defined in
If Troy does not realize as yet that the Arabs want to
take over the whole of Israel and will make no peace as long as Israel holds
even an inch of the land, he is more naïve than I thought. Their demand that not
a single Jew can live on Palestinian soil should make it perfectly plain to him
what is in the minds of our enemies.
It behooves our government to hold
on to all the territory and not apologize for doing so.
This land is our
land, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, from the Golan Heights to the
Negev desert (with apologies to Woody Guthrie).