Sir, – David Horovitz describes Obama’s mendacity in his dealings
with Israel, his claim that fixing the Israeli-Palestinian dispute was a
necessary precursor to tackling the Iran problem, when he knew very well that
this was not so (“Exposed by WikiLeaks,” Editor’s notes, December
Horovitz ends by asking, “What’s the president going to tell Israel
now?” Since Obama cannot be believed, what’s more important is what Netanyahu
tells the president now.MERVYN DOOBOV
Jerusalem Is he serious?
“If the majority were to vote against an agreement, we would no longer have any
moral right or justification to argue that we are a peace-loving society,”
writes David Newman (“Yes to a referendum,” November 30).
agreement? Any paper that says “Peace” at the top of it, I guess. Newman nowhere
takes into consideration that there could be a proposed agreement too shaky, too
one-sided, too ambiguous, too unenforceable, or too riddled with loopholes to be
willingly signed by anyone with peace in his heart.
The question is not
yet on the table, but Newman believes he knows the only defensible answer. Who
can take such a writer seriously? MARK L. LEVINSON
Sir, – How
refreshing that David Newman supports the democratic principle of a referendum!
It would give a moral justification to a peace deal, and “the opposition would
be significantly weakened, both numerically and morally.”
However, if the
people, in their wisdom, decided the peace deal was a bad one, then “we would no
longer have any moral right or justification to argue that we are a peace-loving
Apparently, democracy is good only if the outcome is to one’s
Jerusalem Give both sides
Sir, – In the November
30 edition there is a report about the Jerusalem Local Planning Committee’s
decision to permit 130 housing units to be built in Gilo (“Capital gives green
light to Gilo housing project”). The piece concludes with a long statement by
Saeb Erekat, the chief PLO negotiator, on the annexation by Israel of east
Jerusalem. He maintains that all Jewish neighborhoods built there after 1967 are
“illegal,” and that building in Gilo “constitutes a war crime under the Rome
Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998).”The Jerusalem Post
is widely considered, both in Israel and internationally, as an authoritative
source of information. Your report on Gilo gives the PLO position but no
information as to Israel’s legal position. Readers are left to assume that the
building of Israeli domestic housing is a war crime.ARNOLD MILES
Kudos to Katz
Sir, – The young, female and Ethiopian Fanny Yitzhak was an ideal
scapegoat for teaching a lesson to draft dodgers (“IDF grants religiously
observant woman exemption after snafu,” November 30).
Why did the army
not choose an Ashkenazi yeshiva student who isn’t really studying, isn’t really
working, and enjoys government subsidies? Of course, we all know the answer: The
haredi community would raise hell to protect its own, while the Ethiopian
immigrant rates no such protection.
Kudos to National Union Party
Chairman Ya’acov Katz, who took up Fanny’s case.JUDITH SHMELL
Sir, – It is a sad reality: “Road deaths up this year”
(November 30). The number 350 is truly tragic, but I also wonder what the
statistics are for the number of accidents with injuries. I can only imagine it
is a staggering number! This in spite of the millions of shekels spent on
studies and analyses, promises of more cameras and so forth.
Why not some
immediate, practical solutions? Here is my list: Increase the number of traffic
police and start a “highway patrol” force. It seems like it is always a
free-for-all for speeders.
Ensure that all lines on roads are always
painted so that they can be seen. (How about investing in a brand of paint that
really does the job?) Correct how the crazy street signs are positioned at
Right now they are completely backwards (if they exist at
all) and cannot be seen by drivers, especially at higher speeds, and this causes
people to switch lanes unpredictably or to make U-turns at dangerous
Make sure that any time a lane is ending, there are signs
posted and arrows painted to indicate this.
I think that, with the
results as they are, several people should be losing their jobs over these
pathetic results and the lack of improvement.K. BRONSTEIN
Sir, – The juxtaposition of the article by Martin Sherman (“The
death of a frog,” November 30), which includes Yitzhak Rabin’s publicly declared
positions on several critical national security and political issues, and Yuval
Rabin’s proposal (“The Israeli Peace Initiative, a pragmatic ‘yes’ to the Arab
Peace Initiative,” November 30) on the same page provides a rare opportunity for
vividly comparing the programs of father and son.
While Yitzhak Rabin was
prime minister and defense minister of the State of Israel, he most emphatically
stated his opposition to Israel’s return to the 1967 borders, the division of
Jerusalem, and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Peace Initiative, however, unhesitatingly favors them all, and in fact seems
quite identical to the Arab Initiative.
More troubling than the above is
Yuval’s flawed statement that “the IPI reflects the mutual sacrifices needed to
end all conflicts.”
I challenge Yuval to present even one sacrifice that
the Arab side is to make that is included in his proposal.
Yitzhak was an
Israeli statesman of stature who was thoroughly cognizant of Israel’s concerns
and needs. Yuval is a selfdescribed “pragmatic businessman” living in the US who
does not seem to have the faintest clue as to what he is talking
Petah Tikva Try as they might
Sir, – Writing from
Massachusetts, James Adler blames Israel for lack of progress in peace
negotiations with the Palestinians and states that Israel never tries, and that
this is what the world sees – “no trying, just settlement expansion” (“Peace,
not revolutions,” Letters, December 1).
He thus shows that he is blinded
by the facts – either willingly or out of ignorance.
He loses sight of
the generous offers made by previous Israeli prime ministers which have all been
turned down out of hand, also by Mahmoud Abbas, whom he includes with those who
“represent the greatest hope for true peace and security.”
shown his true colors by not using nine tenths of the duration of the settlement
freeze to attempt to negotiate, and by continuing to head Fatah, which has
repeatedly refused to recognize Israel as the national home of the Jewish
people.MONTY M. ZION
Tel Mond Star marks the spot
Sir, – Here’s a
thought for the paranoid Iranian regime: Could the Stars of David found on
Teheran rooftops be marking targets? (“Star of David on Teheran airport rooftop
enrages Iranians,” December 1).YONATAN SILVER