After the UN

Sir, – Most people in Israel, after the vote in the United Nations General Assembly (“‘Palestine’ wins historic upgrade at UN,” November 30), are wringing their hands and saying that “it is a terrible situation, but what can we do?” We can do many things. The choice is ours.

We can tell our prime minister that we have had enough groveling to the United Nations, which really is dominated by the Arab world. We can tell the Palestinian Authority that we have had enough of its tantrums and refusals to accept the right of Jews to live anywhere, any place at any time.

Our trouble is that since the Oslo Accords we have been weak and meek. We could not have done worse than to adopt such a strategy. Let us now do what we must to build up Israel from strength.

We will never be liked, but we will at least be respected.

THELMA SUSSWEIN
Jerusalem


Sir, – Recent statements made by some Israeli leaders, that the UN vote “won’t change anything substantive on the ground,” may be true. But they miss the point.

People who do not fully appreciate that Israel has very little support in the UN, Europe or many other places may wake up one day and be surprised to find the UN attempting to force this virtual state called Palestine on Israel, regardless of any promises the Arabs made to negotiate.

What the Palestinians did by going to the UN violated the terms of the Oslo agreements, and no one seems to be talking about this, especially UN members.

This is an issue that can only get worse.

Before the UN begins threatening us, we need to complete our own country. We will catch hell either way. It is better to make a decision that is in our own best interests rather than be forced to respond.

MIKA’EL BEN DAVID
Meitar


Sir, – The international community, led by the US and EU, is constantly urging Israel and the Palestinian Authority to return to the negotiating table. It would be well advised to invest its boundless energies in persuading the PA and Hamas themselves to first return to the negotiating table to settle their own differences.

It would seem that our next government should invest all its efforts in solving our pressing economic problems first, leaving the PA and Hamas agenda to those in the international community who are sincerely searching for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement.

It is difficult to understand why this eludes those who keep pressing Israel to take the initiative.

DAVID GOSHEN
Kiryat Ono


Sir, – The prime cause of the ever-rising anti-Israel and anti- Jewish upsurge around the world is the Israeli government – it has not told the world that on April 25, 1920, at San Remo in Italy, an international agreement was signed that created Syria, Mesopotamia (now Iraq) and Palestine.

Palestine, the agreement clearly said, was created for no other reason than to be the national homeland of the Jewish nation.

The borders were very roughly the same as biblical Israel, covering both the western and eastern banks of the Jordan River.

It is the Jewish nation that was cheated out of its lands, first by the British, and later by the UN.

For heaven’s sake, let the world know it is Israel that has been cheated, not the Arabs.

DAVID LEE
London

Sir, – David Ben-Gurion may not have had a choice when he decided to accept the UN partition of Palestine, as at the time the yishuv had a small population and almost no means of self-defense. What’s the excuse today?

ANNABELLE HOROWITZ
Petah Tikva


Sir, – All that happened last week at the UN is that Mahmoud Abbas bought himself an “upgrade” using frequent terror points.

ZALMI UNSDORFER
London


Sir, – Shlomo Slonim (“Accomplices in a campaign to annihilate a UN member,” Comments & Features, November 29) is right in that it is so clearly unjust to call for a Palestinian state at the UN when Gaza is run by Hamas terrorists, and the West Bank is run by Mahmoud Abbas, whose institutions openly glorify terrorists. The borders of this “state” are not even demarcated.

It’s about time the head of an Israeli government, when talking to the media, made simple reference to our Father in Heaven, who is always protecting Israel against all odds. Perhaps God is waiting for us to acknowledge His role and not imply we think all is from our own hands.

BEN KLEIN
New York


Missing the point

Sir, – Gil Hoffman, in “Myths and facts about a dizzying week in Israeli politics” (Frontlines, November 30), seems to miss the point in his analysis of apparent implications of the outcome of the Likud Party primaries and the fact that Bennie Begin, Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan are in unrealistic spots.

It’s not that the party has moved to the right vis a vis the issue of the conflict with the Palestinians. It’s that the three “ousted” individuals all believe in democracy (including respecting the minority), the rule of law, implementing decisions of the Supreme Court, etc., while many of those who were voted into more realistic positions do not.

That is the “move to the right” that the Likud Party has made, and it is an exceptionally dangerous one, in my opinion.

LINDA EPSTEIN
Jerusalem


Take the plunge

Sir, – Regarding “Energy expert: Fuel choice necessary for robust car market, but electricity not the answer now” (November 29), I strongly disagree with Dr. Gal Luft’s assessment about electric cars.

I believe Luft is looking at it from a theoretical rather than reality-based viewpoint. If he actually owned a Better Place car he would know that electric cars right now are most certainly not a “utopian” dream, but completely doable and practical in the here-and-now.

We purchased our Better Place 100 percent electric car over the summer. We are very pleased with our choice to do so and with everything about the car.

Better Place’s customer service is the best I’ve seen in any market here in Israel (I have lived here 17 years), with 24/7 phone availability and constant assistance, battery-changing stations popping up everywhere, and our own charging station right at home.

Admittedly, we do have to plan our travels more carefully.

But this is an easily surmountable inconvenience and I have no doubt the company is working toward technology that will allow larger-capacity batteries.

As far as the price, thanks to reduced taxes the purchase price of a Better Place electric car is about the same as any comparable new car. And loans are available through a special arrangement with Bank Igud on terms that are better than loans for anything else anywhere. The monthly fees for charging and changing batteries are slightly less than we spent on gasoline.

We did not expect to save huge sums, but we are definitely spending less.

I also strongly differ with Luft’s lack of confidence in Israel’s ability to lead the way in this market.

He lives in the US, where thus far they haven’t been able to work out all the details of electric cars. But here in Israel we have the unique opportunity to work out all the kinks in an geographical area that is small enough to drive through in a day. We can – and will – be a light unto the nations in the field of electric cars, as in so many other areas.

I highly recommend to anyone and everyone to take the plunge and make your next car 100% electric. There is no reason whatsoever to allow Luft’s pessimism to become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

DEBORAH BUCKMAN
Beit Shemesh


Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger