EU and E1
Sir, – The European nations have hyper-reacted in a totally
inexplicable manner to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s intention to
authorize the building of 3,000 housing units in an area that, even if there
were a peace agreement, would revert to Israeli control (“EU: Our treaties with
Israel apply only to pre-’67 lines,” December 11).
are based on the contention that this would constitute a threat to the “peace
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wishes to
reconcile and unite with Hamas, whose raison d’etre is the destruction of the
State of Israel.
Thus, it follows logically that our destruction is a
goal commonly shared by both Palestinian factions.
Moreover, a few days
ago in Gaza, Khaled Mashaal, political leader of Hamas, gave a speech from which
the logical deductions can only be that there is no peace process, that there
never has been a peace process, and that there never will be.
Europeans immutably and blindly persist in overlooking and ignoring the reality,
and in placing all culpability on Israel, which is the only side that has
expressed a desire to initiate a meaningful peace process with the goals of
mutual compromise in an effort to resolve the conflict.
This is truly a
theater of the absurd.
Sir, – Our prime minister
says that “when Palestinian leaders openly call for the destruction of Israel,
the one and only Jewish state, the world is silent.”
Why should Binyamin
Netanyahu think the world would do anything to help Israel when he and his
government have continually ignored the world’s censure for his building of new
settlements? STUART DOVE Jerusalem Sir, – Prime Minister Netanyahu is miffed at
the international community for not being more sympathetic to Israel. While his
frustration is understandable, Israel’s negotiating posture has complicated its
Officially, the Israeli government supports the two-state
solution, a compromise that is contingent on Palestinian recognition of Israel.
There are two major problems with this approach.
First, the Palestinians
will not recognize Israel. To do so would betray a fundamental tenet of Islamic
morality, which is about unlimited control over land.
hinting at territorial compromise prior to recognition opens the door to endless
pressure from other countries that have vital strategic and economic
dependencies on Israel’s enemies. Now, virtually every new Jewish home can be
labeled an obstacle to peace by the insincerely concerned.
to take a step back and insist that there will be no more talk about grand
solutions until there is credible recognition.
The current diplomatic
formula may be morally appealing to the Western mind, but it is not very
practical in a Middle Eastern context.
Sir, – It appears the European Union will be requiring Israel to label products
made in the Golan Heights, the West Bank and east Jerusalem as having come from
there. I suggest that the labeling be: “Made in Israeli-liberated
Sir, – There has been an
understandable uproar regarding allegations made against JDC on the television
program “Vacuum” (“Ethiopian birth control?,” Editorial, December 11). But lost
in the media fallout are the fuller facts of the story, and setting the record
straight is of utmost importance to us.
Over the past 23 years, JDC’s
medical services in Ethiopia have had one clear focus: securing the health of
Ethiopian Jews and, later, Falash Mura candidates for aliya. Thousand of
patients – including women and children – benefited from pre-natal and neonatal
care at our clinics. The result is that thousands of Ethiopian-Israeli adults
now live safely in Israel thanks to the superb medical care they received at JDC
clinics in Ethiopia.
We are proud of the family-planning advice we offered
at these clinics, part of an overall approach that empowers women and other
patients to take control of their own healthcare. But we should be clear: We
offered family planning advice only to women who requested it. We would never do
Participation was, and is, strictly voluntary. Participants
chose their preferred contraceptive after receiving a full medical explanation
of the options available.
They have always chosen when to discontinue
This medical team, which I oversaw, had no connection
with, nor power over any of the patients’ rights to immigrate to Israel. We
would never, nor could we, pressure women to take contraceptives as a condition
to go to Israel. At no time did we receive instructions from JDC or the Israeli
authorities to “coerce” patients into engaging in family planning through the
Depro- Provera injection.
The issue of family planning in Ethiopia and
for women independently controlling their healthcare choices is one that has
been visited many times.
When seeking out options and taking advantage of
what is offered, we have found an overwhelming satisfaction with the choices
made and a deep appreciation for the highest standards of informed choice that
are the basis of the medical services we provide.
The writer is an MD and medical director of AJJDC-Ethiopia
Sir, – If
“Strategic errors and challenges” (Encountering Peace, December 11) is the
“Baskin peace plan,” God help us for his naivety because the price we pay will
be very bloody.
Assuming we follow Baskin’s dangerous route and grant
Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas his state along the pre-1967 lines, and then
the Palestinians hold their long overdue elections and Hamas wins, what then?
After all, Hamas got a majority vote in 2005. They are not less popular
A Hamas-controlled “Palestine” means a two-kilometer, 15-second
missile flight to Kfar Yona, where my grandchildren live.
Who will take
responsibility then? Baskin? I don’t think so.
We haven’t seen any
Israeli politicians apologize for the Gaza withdrawal, which led to thousands of
rockets falling on Israel.
Now Baskin wants to turn Kfar Yona into a
Thanks, but no thanks.
Sir, – While David Harris claims that US President Barack Obama’s
hostility toward Israel has proved false (“It’s time to throw the Obama smears
‘under the bus,’” Comment & features, December 9), it should be noted that
Obama owes a huge debt for his reelection to an Israeli.
A former chief
designer for the Israel Air Force, now living in the US, is considered the
father of the unmanned aerial vehicle. His invention has enabled the Americans
to kill much of the al-Qaida leadership and other terrorists in Afghanistan,
Pakistan and Yemen, thus saving many casualties among US forces.
undoubtedly was a key factor in Obama’s re-election.
Sir, – We readers, or at least most of us, tend to concur with
the sentiments expressed on Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi’s headgear (“Radical W. Bank
leader mulls run for PA president,” December 12), but for some reason I think
somebody at The Jerusalem Post got snookered by an image from the
The Editor responds: It was indeed a
poor choice of photos. The Post apologizes to its readers.