January 14: Something’s wrong
Jews in Jerusalem make snowmen, yet Muslims use a site that they claim is sacred for the glorification of weapons of war.
Letters Photo: REUTERS/Handout
Sir, – The photo on Page 8 of your January 11 edition
(“‘Extreme weather’”) says it all.
Jews in Jerusalem make snowmen, yet
Muslims use a site that they claim is sacred for the glorification of weapons of
Moshe Feiglin attempting to pray on the site holiest to the Jews is
is a provocation, and this action isn’t? Something is wrong in the value system
Sir, – With
regard to “Netanyahu: The pathology” (Observations, January 11), all the
well-intentioned suggestions for improving the way Israel is perceived around
the world ignore one of our greatest public relations problems. I’m referring to
Bibiphobia, which causes some of our best known political and security
establishment figures to repeatedly throw the country under the bus for the
satisfaction of trashing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
satisfaction they obviously derive from their unrestrained attacks can only be
fleeting, the damage they do to Israel lasts forever.
Sir, – I agree with all Barry Shaw says in “European
diplomacy in the service of our enemy” (Original Thinking, January 11) with one
Shaw states that EU diplomats “surely are not bent on
Israel’s destruction.” But even a cursory glance at history, especially since
the formation of the EU, should tell you that this is exactly what is in their
An inherent hatred for both Israel and Jews is as apparent as an
incurable illness, except that in the case of the latter it seems most Israelis
believe such an illness could not exist. The EU’s solution would be for Israel
to cease to exist, and anything its members could do to bring this about they
will gleefully do.
It is partly Israel’s fault for continuously failing
to realize this and allowing itself to be forever the bullied victim in the
Sir, – Barry Shaw’s frighteningly
accurate telling of the state of European diplomacy (and democracy) today is
redolent of the same diplomacy 80 years ago when these countries were under
attack, not from Islam but from Nazism. What Shaw missed, though, is what
happened not only to European Jewry, but also to European
Throughout history, many democratically inclined nations
encouraged Jewish survival and development. When these nations became infected
with political failings, the panacea of looking at the Jews as the root of all
evil was grasped exactly as we see today. It was not long before physical
violence took hold and burgeoning democracy evanesced.
where the devolved parliament, under a Scottish National Party majority, seeks a
mandate for independence next year, and which allows the most virulent anti-
Israel motions to be proposed daily.
Unless they take heed of Shaw’s
warning, Western democracies and their Jews, as well as Jewish Israel, are
In “A Palestinian-Jordanian confederation” (Savir’s Corner, January 11), Uri
Savir claims – rightly so! – that a federation would make the solution to the
Palestinian issue more palatable.
It would entail, in Savir’s words,
“massive evacuation of settlers... and Jerusalem as a shared
This is the core of the problem.
Permit me to propose
Settlements: It has been suggested that some settlements
located inside Palestinian territory might remain as Jewish communities in the
State of Palestine, as a parallel arrangement to the Arab communities inside
Israel. Palestine would have a Jewish minority, similar to Israel’s 20 percent
Settlers: They would have the option of remaining as
law-abiding Palestinian citizens, voting either for the Palestinian parliament or
retaining their Israeli nationality and voting for the Knesset. Those who object
would be welcome to return home at their own discretion.
The option of
remaining would eliminate charges of deportation.
Israel’s Arab citizens
should be offered a similar choice – of becoming Palestinian nationals and
voting for the Palestinian parliament.
Jerusalem should remain a united
city, open to all, and become the capital of Israel and Palestine. That is, it
should be transformed into an international enclave under an international
regime. This would match Herzl’s vision of an “ex-territorial Jerusalem” (see:
The Diaries of Theodor Herzl, May 7, 1896).
In addition, our prime
minister might launch a dramatic initiative to transfer the UN headquarters from
New York to Jerusalem. This might appear presumptuous, but bearing in mind that
Jerusalem is the center of three world religions and that such a step might put
a final end to this conflict, the proposal could eventually appear realistic. It
would also have far-reaching implications for the security and economy of
Far-fetched fantasies? Perhaps.
But after decades of
national folly and in the absence of hope for a tranquil future here for our
grandchildren, the time is ripe for new ideas.
off the wall?
Sir, – Uri Savir talks about mirages. Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali
Bennett’s “ridiculous proposal to annex 60 percent of the West Bank to Israel”
and “[Prime Minister] Binyamin Netanyahu’s efforts to do everything in his prime
ministerial power to prevent a two-state solution through settlement expansion”
are two examples.
Wasn’t Savir, the architect of the Oslo Accords, the
one who gave us the mirage of peace? Furthermore, he talks about “democracy” and
“the national rights” and “human rights” of Palestinians. What about the same
rights for Jews to live anywhere in the Jewish homeland? My real concern,
however, is about Netanyahu’s record of right-wing proposals and proclamations
regarding settlement building prior to elections, and then not following through
afterward in order to placate an American president.
Sir, – “A Palestinian-Jordanian confederation” lost its relevance to
me when Uri Savir completely ignored Hamas.
At the present time Egypt is
doing its utmost to reconcile the differences between Fatah and Hamas so that
they will be an acceptable partnership in the quest to establish a ministate
between Israel and Jordan.
This mini-state could then be used by Egypt’s
Muslim Brotherhood to destroy both Jordan and Israel.
As long as Hamas
and the Muslim Brotherhood are not totally neutralized, the establishment of
this mini-state should be opposed by anyone seeking peace in the Middle East. A
two-state solution is not a viable solution for Israel at the present time, and
a federation between Jordan and Palestine that includes Hamas is not a viable
solution for either Israel or Jordan.
The right-wing parties are
gathering strength in Israel for the simple reason that we are well aware of the
danger posed by the Arab countries embracing the radical Muslim
We must resist all efforts to have a peace treaty forced
upon us and under no circumstance should we give up any territory for a