Hysteria or omen?
Sir, – Regarding Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s vehement
attacks on the head of Bayit Yehudi, Naftali Bennett, for supposedly sanctioning
the refusal of orders (“Likud declares war on rivals in Center-Right bloc,”
December 24), and the threats to exclude him from a Likud-led coalition, it
seems more than a little strange that Netanyahu was not in the least bit
perturbed about past statements made by his defense minister, Ehud Barak, in TV
These remarks include: “If I were a young Palestinian I would
have joined a terror organization,” and “If I were a leader of Iran I would also
want atomic weapons.”
Is it simply a sign of hysteria that Bayit Yehudi
is successfully stealing Knesset seats from the Likud, or is it rather an omen
that Netanyahu plans on betraying the nationalist camp in the same way as former
prime minister Ariel Sharon?
Truth on Hagel
Sir, – The
facts provided by Isi Leibler documenting the anti- Israel sentiments and
possible anti-Semitism of former US senator Chuck Hagel make disturbing reading
(“Hagel – a litmus test of Obama’s attitude to Israel,” Candidly Speaking
Even more disturbing is the statement that Jeremy Ben-Ami,
executive director of J Street, endorsed Hagel as “a fine choice” and “friend of
This from a man who claims that his organization is truly
Zionistic and a supporter of Israel.
Thanks, Mr. Leibler, for placing the
truth on record.MONTY M. ZION
Tel Mond Shelly the ‘centrist’
Sir, – I
have had personal contact with Hadash MK Dov Henin in the Knesset Forum for Rare
Diseases and can confirm Jeff Barak’s positive personal assessment (“What about
Dov Henin?,” Reality Check, December 24). Unfortunately, one cannot vote for
Henin as an individual.
Nor is he one-dimensional.
on political, as opposed to social, issues are straight Hadash, that is, extreme
left-wing and anti-Zionist. It is hard to say whether Barak was simply being
provocative or he really believes the arrant nonsense he wrote.
Yacimovich a “centrist?” She, with a declared draft dodger in the Number 5 slot
on her list, her whole economic “policy” based on high taxes, high government
spending, high debt and squeezing the pips of the “rich” (i.e., the middle class
that works, serves and pays taxes), the leader with no security or diplomatic
policy whatever? This is absurd.
If Barak needs to veer farther than
Shelly, what’s wrong with Meretz, a declared socialist (but Zionist) party? This
standardbearer for the Left didn’t even merit a mention.
Rosh Pina These weren’t borders
Sir, – Regarding “PM in TV interview blitz:
Kotel isn’t occupied territory” (December 23), the insistence by Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov and EU foreign police head Catherine Ashton, as well as
most of the world’s governments, that the 1949 armistice line between Israel and
Jordan was a “border” is beyond comprehension. They know full well that it was
not, yet concur with the perception by people who cannot read.
international agreement on the armistice lines after Israel’s War of
Independence says: “The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI
of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future
territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating
thereto.” It is for this reason that UN Security Council Resolution 242 did not
call for a full withdrawal from all the territories that Israel captured in the
Six Day War. The 1949 lines were no longer to be a reference point for a future
Armistice lines are immaterial in international law in
terms of land rights and final status agreements, whereas borders often can be
legally decisive.CYRIL ATKINS
Beit Shemesh Food for thought
Sir, – It
certainly is food for thought that Palestinians could come into an army base
during a rainy night and take a weapon from a soldier (“Stormy weather helps
Palestinians infiltrate IDF base, steal weapon,” December 23).
security so lax? This is not the first time it has happened.
begins with the army base itself. There is no excuse for Palestinians being able
to come into a base, even if it is raining.
There is no excuse for
weaponry to be taken.
The individual soldier is accountable, but so is
Let us begin by rectifying the problems with the IDF
Sir, – Reader James Adler
(“More honesty, please,” Letters, December 23) is surely right in demanding more
honesty regarding Israel’s plans to build in Jerusalem and the West
What a pity, then, that he did not avail himself of the opportunity
to highlight the fact that Israel is not alone in having territorial disputes
with its neighbors.
Great Britain has long-running disputes with Spain
and Argentina over the sovereignty of, respectively, Gibraltar and the Falkland
Islands. In a similar fashion, the US and Russia continue to occupy Japanese
islands captured more than 65 years ago at the end of World War II. Likewise,
France still refuses to grant independence to Corsica, and Spain persists in
refusing to grant Catalonia and Basque their freedom.H.B. MITCHELL
Sir, – James Adler appears to conclude that Berliners and others
can build (legally) wherever authorized by their local government.
I be dropping a red herring by pointing out that the people of the United States
and Australia “occupy” lands previously occupied by Indians and Aborigines? One
might also ask: Who rules London? Are the Brits really from England? They’re
To his credit, Adler notes that the real issue is over land.
However, he shouldn’t gloss over the fact that the Palestinians want what we say
is our land. They want all of it and are willing to wait a long time to make it
Sir, – A recent visit to the Tower
of David Museum in Jerusalem brought to mind that next year will be the 74th
anniversary of Hitler’s triumphant parade through Prague in March 1939 to mark
his peaceful occupation of Czechoslovakia.
If the Czechs were to
celebrate the event with major fanfare, one can imagine the protests from Israel
and other like-minded democracies. There could be no excuse that, at the time,
Hitler had not yet launched World War II or the extermination of European
Yet comparable celebrations are currently taking place at the
Tower of David Museum to mark the visit to Jerusalem in November 1898 of Kaiser
Wilhelm II of Germany with a range of whimsical photographs illustrating his
triumphal progress through the city.
No attempt is made to put the German
emperor into his true historical context. The clock of history did not stop for
him in November 1898 any more than it did for Hitler in March 1939.
hint is given in the exhibition of Wilhelm II’s violent anti- Semitism,
autocratic and antidemocratic conduct and ardent support for the military
build-up of Germany that led inevitably to World War I. Even after his
abdication at the end of this disastrous war, he continued to encourage German
nationalism and supported the rise of Nazism.
In the past the museum has
put on many fine exhibitions.
Sadly, its organizers slipped up on this
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