December 14: Clinton on Mideast

Ever-evolving technology of war will make it easier to guarantee security; crucial security questions to be discussed in Hadar Israel forum.

December 14, 2010 09:50

letters. (photo credit: JP)

Much appreciated

Sir, – Dan Halutz, the IDF chief of General Staff who was asleep at the wheel during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, has entered the political arena and joined up with Kadima, no less.

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And as a newcomer to politics, he has decided to weigh in, seemingly just to let everybody know he’s “in the building” (“Freshman Kadima member Halutz call’s for PM’s ouster following fire,” December 12).

I’m not a big fan of Netanyahu myself, but I don’t make stupid pronouncements just for the sake of blowing my own horn. If Halutz really wants to gain voter confidence and respect, I offer him the following advice: To be seen, stand up. To be heard, speak up. To be appreciated, shut up.

Beit Shemesh

‘Gainfully’ employed

Sir, – Regarding “Thousands mark International Human Rights Day in TA” and “Former EU leaders call to sanction and boycott Israel over settlements,” December 12), the mystery is solved.

The reason that the unemployment rate in Israel is so low is because so many people are employed by the more-than 100 so-called “civil rights” NGOs.

Many of these NGOs are supported by governments not particularly friendly to Israel. This is partly demonstrated by the letter written by 26 unfriendly European ex-leaders pathetically trying to keep themselves in the public eye, who suggest that sanctions be applied to Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East – if it does not toe the EU line.

It is inconceivable that Israel is always wrong – surely we must be doing something right. For example, Israel boasts a free press, open elections, freedom of speech and freedom of worship.

(Even if not all religions are recognized by the state, all can pray as they like.) These attributes are lacking in the regimes of our neighbors.

Beit Shemesh

Clinton on Mideast

Sir, – The US secretary of state (“Clinton: It is time to grapple with the core issues of the conflict,” December 12) says: “I know that improvements in security and growing prosperity have convinced some that this conflict can be waited out or largely ignored. This view is wrong and it is dangerous. The long-term population trends that result from the occupation are endangering the Zionist vision of a Jewish and democratic state in the historic homeland of the Jewish people. Israelis should not have to choose between preserving both elements of their dream. But that day is approaching.”

The Palestinians provided a lot of phony numbers to imply that the “long-term population trends” are in their favor. This is not true.

Clinton goes on: “At the same time, the ever-evolving technology of war, especially the expanding reach of the rockets amassed on Israel’s borders, means that it will be increasingly difficult to guarantee the security of Israeli families throughout the country without implementing peace agreements that answer these threats.”

One can argue the opposite – that the ever-evolving technology of war, especially anti-missile systems, drones and advances in computer technologies, will make it easier to guarantee security.

Bnei Brak

Sir, – In her Brookings Institution speech, Secretary of State Clinton promised that Washington would not support a Palestinian state with borders – including Jerusalem – that “leave Israel vulnerable” to an aggressive war or terrorist attacks by its enemies, such as a nuclear Iran and its proxies Hizbullah and Hamas.

But that begs the crucial question: What exactly are the redlines on borders and other core issues that Israel cannot cross in future negotiations without putting the lives of its citizens in danger? Leading security and diplomatic experts will answer that question in Jerusalem on December 26 at Hadar Israel’s next forum – “As Negotiations Hang in the Balance: What are Israel’s Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace?” – with former UN ambassador Dore Gold, Maj.- Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan, Maj.-Gen.

(res.) Yaakov Amidror and Dan Diker, secretary-general-designate of the World Jewish Congress.

The public is invited to attend.

The event can also be seen internationally via a live video simulcast at


The writer is director of Hadar Israel

‘Netanyahu Plan’ sought

Sir, – Herb Keinon, in “Admitting failure” (Diplomacy, December 10), shows the futility of a settlement freeze as the cornerstone of US President Barack Obama’s Mideast policy.

No road forward on behalf of the United States or Israel is in evidence. What is needed is a Netanyahu Plan, but not the bottom- up approach the prime minister has preferred, which, with all its positive attributes, is not understood or likely to lead anywhere.

Rather, Netanyahu should publicly offer a top-down plan like, but more limited in scope than, those offered by former prime ministers Barak and Olmert.

This would bring, first, a proactive perspective of the Netanyahu administration to the world. The positive view of Israel thereby engendered would be reinforced by the likely Palestinian rejection. More than public relations, it would give the US a substantive foundation to build on for a new peace process, resulting in a win-win for itself and Israel.

Jerusalem/New York

Robber Baron, Jr.

Sir, – I found the normally sensible David Horovitz disappointingly naïve in “On the road to a Better Place” (Editor’s Notes, December 10).

Better Place is the simply the latest example of Israeli lemon socialism. Here, like in the days of Mapai, the government has stepped into the marketplace to hand a monopoly to a single company.

Better Place’s chairman, Idan Ofer, is a scion of one of the “18 Families,” the notorious robber barons whose control of the Israeli economy – according to Post columnist Daniel Doron – costs Israeli citizens an extra 20- 30 percent in out-of-pocket expenditures per year.

Pardon my sarcasm, but if Ofer is so concerned about the environment, his Dead Sea Works would stop draining our sensitive inland sea (with taxpayers’ assistance).

Of course, it is preposterous that the Israeli government – which cannot even buy proper fire trucks or limit road accidents – can somehow pick the best idea among many unproven new vehicle technologies. In addition, Horovitz did not cross-examine Better Place about the tax breaks it receives.

Whenever the Israeli government mixes into the marketplace, the 18 Families take profits and subsidies, but the Israeli taxpayer covers the losses. Better Place is proving to be no exception.


Media not to blame

Sir, – Caroline Glick is totally unconvincing when she tries to make us believe that our surprise at Brazil’s and Argentina’s move to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state is the fault of Israel’s media (“Why Latin America turned,” Column One, December 10).

About the only consistent “trend” one can see in most Latin American history is total inconsistency and often complete contradiction.

Constant revolutions, upheavals, coups, government sponsored or -sanctioned terrorism against civilians, and political turmoil have characterized almost all Latin American countries since most were founded. Have we forgotten where the term “banana republic” originated? Trying to blame the media for some sort of Israeli naivete or ignorance of these new “trends” reflects more about Glick’s consistent criticism of a left-leaning press than it does about historical fact or accurate analysis.

Hatzor Haglilit

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