Sir, – Quite aside from Caspar Veldkamp’s total failure to understand how incentives are supposed to work – after all, who wouldn’t want to serve on a Security Council that has already hosted such noble bastions of human rights and democracy as Syria, Cuba and Libya – his remarks (“Dutch envoy: Signing a peace deal could get Israel on UN Security Council,” January 29) lay bare an ugly truth.
If, as Veldkamp says, world opinion, regardless of any context, “will favor the Palestinians as long as there is no progress in the negotiations,” there is absolutely no point in trying to ingratiate ourselves with foreign powers, which, as he puts it, would automatically side with the Palestinians simply because they are the perceived underdogs.
This is actually an incentive – for the Palestinians, who are assured of continued international support whether they deserve it or not.
MENACHEM G. JERENBERG
Sir, – Gil Troy, in his eloquent “What Hebron says” (Center Field, January 29), regrettably doesn’t give sufficient significance to the huge sacrifices and heartbreaking concessions Israel has already made in the name of an elusive peace.
One nagging question torments me, although it seems to be evaded by the media: Can anyone name one, just one, sacrifice, large or small, that the Palestinians have made?
Sir, – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat have made it abundantly clear that Palestine shall be judenrein. Other “enlightened” countries in the region (Jordan, Saudi Arabia) already forbid citizenship to Jews.
These laws are not cloaked in buzz words such as “settlers” and “Zionists,” but not even the governments of Germany(!) and the United States have a problem with this.
How would they react if Abbas prevented blacks, Christians or Buddhists from living there?
Sir, – Can someone tell me why Israel has to reach an agreement with the Palestinians and not the other way around? America, by its actions, shows bias toward the Muslims. This is not what democracy is all about.
Auckland, New Zealand
‘You are wrong!’
Sir, – Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin (“Judged, shunned and excluded,” Comment & Features, January 21) states that the best way to combat the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is to go on the offensive. I agree, except that he then goes on to describe feel-good steps to show Israel’s good side.
This is all fine and good, but it is still rather meek and far from going on the offensive.
When will this government finally figure out that it truly has to go on the diplomatic offensive by using the language that the Europeans and Americans really understand: international law.
Every time US Secretary of State John Kerry, EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton or UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon says that Jewish settlement in Judea or Samaria or Jerusalem is “illegitimate” or “illegal,” our leaders should be screaming at the top of their lungs: “Excuse me, but you are wrong!” Jewish presence in all the Land of Israel is very much legal (and therefore legitimate) according to international law based on the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which ratified the deep and ancient connection of the Jewish people to all the land.
Mr. Elkin, don’t be afraid to claim all the Land of Israel as legitimately Jewish.
Then with that, go into negotiations. It will greatly strengthen Israel’s position.
There will never be peace until we respect ourselves. In a sense, I believe this is what the world is really waiting for.