August 22: Topsy-turvy
The world is so topsy-turvy politically that we really can say we have reached the point where evil is vanquishing good.
Sir, – The people of Israel once again are going to be mocked and,
even worse, resolutions will be passed by the group of socalled non-aligned
nations that is now going to be led by Iran (“US Jewish groups to lobby for
limited involvement in NAM while Iran chairs group,” August 20).
world is so topsy-turvy politically that we really can say we have reached the
point where evil is vanquishing good. Perhaps we should reconcile ourselves to
an Iran-dominated world – even the United States wants Israel to wait until
after the November elections before it does the brave and moral act of trying to
save the world from the Iranians.
Sir, – Regarding the Reuters item “Japan, China territorial disputes
deepen with landings, protests” (August 20), the article missed one critical
point: The disputed island chain Diaoyutais (Senkaku in Japanese) belongs to
Taiwan and is therefore an inherent part of the Republic of China
It has been the ROC’s consistent position that the Diaoyutais be
returned based on the Cairo Declaration (1943), the Potsdam Proclamation (1945),
the Instrument of Surrender of Japan (1945), the Treaty of San Francisco (1952)
and the Treaty of Peace between the Republic of China and Japan
The ROC understands that all parties concerned hold conflicting
standpoints and that this is the cause of long-standing disputes and recent
tensions. On August 5 ROC President Ying- Jeou Ma called on all parties to: 1.
Refrain from taking any antagonistic actions 2. Shelve controversies and not
abandon dialogue 3. Observe international law and resolve disputes through
peaceful means 4. Seek consensus on a code of conduct in the East China Sea 5.
Establish a mechanism for cooperation on exploring and developing resources
under the East China Sea Peace Initiative.
The government of the ROC
looks forward to all parties working together to achieve the aims of the
initiative as soon as possible so that the East China Sea can become one of
peace and cooperation.
The writer is
representative at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv
Sir, – Giulio Meotti (“Will America forsake Israel, again?,” Comment
& Features, August 20) eloquently makes the point – “If Israel is unable to
change the US’s red line on Iran and Jerusalem capitulates to Washington’s
appeasement, Iran will be soon armed with atomic bombs.
And the Jews?
They will be psychologically weaker and totally dependant on others’
Unfortunately, even with the facts staring us straight in the face
we are unable to accept that those we believe to be friends are not. We also
need to be reminded about the lack of help given Europe’s Jews before, during
and after the Shoah.
We are repeating the same mistakes by giving in to
enemies who are sworn to our destruction.
Clinging to the mentality that
we are unable to survive without America must stop.
A president’s place
Sir, – According to Jeff Barak (“Peres and the voice of
reason,” Reality Check, August 20), our president “is to be applauded for both
his courage in publicly demolishing the prime minister and defense minister’s
words in favor of an Israeli strike on Iran and for his cogent analysis of the
limits of Israeli strength.”
Shimon Peres was not elected by the people
of Israel. He is a figurehead with no political power whatsoever, like the Queen
Even if one were to acknowledge Peres’s past experience as a
political leader, one must be aghast at his ineptitude – he opposed the 1981
bombing of the Iraqi reactor, initiated the 1993 Oslo Accords (the “new Middle
East”) and supported the unilateral 2005 withdrawal from Gush
Regrettably, Barak’s faith in Peres’s “cogent analysis” is not
justified by historical facts.
Sir, – With
regard to “Likud MKs: Peres should stay out of Iran business” (August 19),
Yitzhak Navon did not distance himself completely from politics during his
presidency, and from then on no president has completely resisted the temptation
to swing the weight of his supposedly ceremonial office onto one side of the
political scale or the other.
Of course, former politicizers of the
presidency, when consulted, see nothing wrong when Shimon Peres politicizes the
presidency. Line-jumpers at the supermarket see nothing wrong with line-jumping
either. But the presidency was conceived as a symbolic office personifying the
Israeli consensus, not as a fourth branch of government with carte blanche at
If a president can intervene politically on occasions
when conscience calls upon him to do so, conscience will call every day because
everything in politics matters to a man of conscience. If he can’t leave that
call unanswered, he should resign and let a calmer person take his
MARK L. LEVINSON
Making things harder
Sir, – Thanks go to
Martin Sherman (“What’s wrong with the Right – Part I,” Into the Fray, August
17) for asking: “Why should Palestinian independence be conditioned on good
governance and democracy and not that of Algeria or Afghanistan? Why should
Palestinians be held to a higher standard than, say, Somalis or Sudanese?”
Irrespective of how Sherman answers, these are good questions and they do show a
It is said so often that the Palestinians won’t
recognize any of Israel. Yet the Israeli Right won’t recognize any of
In the same way, if the world won’t recognize west Jerusalem
as Israel’s capital till there is peace, the Israeli Right won’t recognize east
Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital either. Unfortunately, there won’t be peace
until the two sides recognize each other’s country and its reasonably chosen
The issue seems as much delegitimization against Palestine and
east Jerusalem as it does against Israel and west Jerusalem. Delegitimizers on
both sides are busily at work, and peace is obviously hard enough to get without
Just like you
Sir, – I had the
pleasure of reading the article by Hirsh Goodman about his great, last-minute
Greek holiday (“On the beach, PostScript, August 17).
I have never been
to Israel and cannot judge the problems he describes. But I live half the year
on the Greek island of Aegina, which unfortunately is very close to the
metropolis of Athens and therefore suffers from the same ills that Goodman says
afflict Israel’s beaches and holiday zones.
Unfortunately, Greece is not
the small paradise he describes. It has the problems, trends and changes of
every modern society, even if some small relics of idyllic scenes
With regard to “Ultranationalist group verbally harasses Rabin’s granddaughter”
(August 15), Noa Rotman loudly accused me of being part of the group that killed
her grandfather. I never was part of any such group and it was her outrageous
statement that led me to shout that she became wealthy as a result of the memoir
she wrote after his death.
Also, the Rabin Center is in Tel Aviv, and not
in Jerusalem, as your report erroneously said.