Sir, – I find US Secretary of State John Kerry’s rantings about what consequences Israel will suffer if there is no progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace front (“Kerry slammed by Right for ‘encouraging’ boycott,” February 2) completely unacceptable. His utterances only add additional hindrances to the process.
If there is no comprehensive and just peace agreement, the consequences will be shared by all parties, so I ask Kerry: Stop obsessing about Israel or take yourself out of the equation.
Sir, – US Secretary of State John Kerry repeatedly has asserted that Israel’s settlements are “illegitimate,” so I would like to add that if he thinks so, then – and excuse my chutzpah – America was occupied by settlers from Europe.
So the question arises: Is the United States willing to give back at least a part of the land to the native Indians and give them their independence? In 1967, Egypt, Syria and Jordan attacked Israel simultaneously in order to destroy this tiny country.
Part of their land was captured.
At the time there was no Palestine.
Now, a second question arises: Where were the US, Europe and the rest of the world? The Arab nations should compensate Israel for all the unjust wars they waged on it.
Sir, – I find it deliciously ironic that while John Kerry is bitterly criticized when he publicly warns the Israeli government of the possibility of financial sanctions and boycotts if this round of Israeli- Palestinian peace talks fails, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, while suffering little or no criticism, has actually imposed sanctions and a form of financial boycott (“Lapid temporarily halts funding for settlements,” February 2).
It appears that Mr. Lapid has beat Mr. Kerry in the race to see which government can do the most financial damage to Israelis in the shortest possible time!
Sir, – Given the level of hatred by the Palestinians for Israel, the best Secretary of State Kerry can expect is a “shotgun wedding” that lasts six months at most.
A Palestine on the West Bank will bring persecution of the Israelis living there. It will lead to infiltration by Hezbollah and Hamas, which will rocket Israeli towns and cities, and even Ben-Gurion Airport. Israel will respond violently, and the whole thing will almost certainly escalate into a full-scale war, even with Iran.
I think Mr. Kerry should listen to the wise words that Fagin sings in the musical Oliver: “I’m reviewing the situation... I think I’d better think it out again!”
Kingston upon Thames, UK
Pronouncing the truth
Sir, – On Saturday night, on the Channel 1 news, we were witness to a lesson in history given by the Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
He informed us he was the proud son of the ancient Canaanite population living in the city of Jericho, which had been destroyed by Joshua Bin Nun, who illegally invaded the land of Canaan.
I have to agree with him on the point that he is among the modern successors to the ancient Canaanites, a people condemned for, among other transgressions, indulging in human sacrifice.
We were also taught by Erekat that we Jews arrived in the country much later than the original settlers, the Canaanites, and therefore have no inherent right to be here.
The Hebrew Scriptures, then, especially the covenant made with the People of Israel by their God, Who gave them the land, count for nothing. The corollary to this is that the gods of the Canaanites must count for everything.
Part of this situation is our own fault for leaving a public vacuum of claims on this country.
There is no arrogance in pronouncing the truth and teaching it. We behave as if this is some kind of embarrassing secret we’d better not mention, when it’s at the very heart of our strength to come and remain rooted here in the face of the ignorant, malignant ill-will of the new-old Canaanites and their numerous supporters.
Sir, – As much as I love the music of Ahinoam Nini, it is truly sad to see that her left-wing intolerance does not allow her to share an award moment with one of Israel’s most respected songwriter/singers, Ariel Zilber (“Israeli singing sensation Noa turns down award in political row,” February 2).
Those who define themselves as liberal-thinkers and say they’re peace-loving and tolerant often seem to be anything but when it comes to accepting others whose viewpoint conflicts with their own.
In doing a Google search about Zilber, I found that he supports hiring Jews and keeping Israeli land – nothing that a great many Israelis don’t also support.
Nini should do some soul searching to maybe come to the conclusion that her inability to embrace diversity is not at all inclusive or liberal, but rather narrow- minded and “diversiphobic.”
So long as Zilber is not advocating violence or harm to others, his viewpoint should be just as respected as anyone else’s, especially given his tremendous musical contribution to Israel.
What will I say?
Sir, – With regard to “Vandals spray graffiti on Reform synagogue in Ra’anana” (January 31), how can I explain to my non-Jewish friends and neighbors back home in the UK that my synagogue in the Land of Israel has been defiled?
Start at home
Sir, – Thank you for the interesting interview with Gideon Meir, summing up his long career with the Foreign Ministry (“45 years a diplomat,” Diplomacy, January 31). The interview was very troubling, however, because it appears that Meir has no perception of how extremely difficult, if not impossible, it is to challenge anti-Israel propaganda in the Diaspora.
Frequently, British media outlets source their emotionally charged, fabricated stories and slander against Israel directly from reports in Israeli newspapers; when challenged, they argue that the reports are legitimate because the information was in the Israeli press.
Meir fails to appreciate that, specifically, The New York Times and the BBC get much of their material from fictitious, distorted and biased reports from leftwing Israeli journalists. We are being undermined by our own media.
Israel cannot possibly “work wonders with its limited hasbara [public diplomacy] resources” until it acts against Israeli journalists and organizations that delegitimize the State of Israel.
Whereas criticism is vital in a democracy, those who aim to destroy that democracy with lies and slander should be prosecuted for incitement and possibly even treason. It is only then that the public diplomacy battle can begin to be effective.
Sir, – No one knows what the prime minister and his wife said to their son about dating (“MKs slam Netanyahu over his son dating a non-Jewish Norwegian woman,” January 27). It is no one’s business either. If you haven’t walked in their shoes, you don’t know how they treat their blisters.
The prime minister’s private life is just that.
Sir, – Before I could write to express my outrage about something a politician said about some other politician, I spotted the article “Flatulent cows start fire at German dairy farm” (Business & Finance, January 30), and I completely forgot the point I was going to make.