Who really won?

Sir, – With regard to “Who won?” (Editorial, November 23), I heard opposition leader Shaul Mofaz’s statement that Hamas was victorious in the recent fighting, and read newspaper stories and articles against the cease-fire.

I’ve wondered what the alternative would be in the minds of these dissenters about how to achieve an Israeli victory, given the experiences we have had in recent past battles.

Shall we return, in this day and age, to biblical warfare and eliminate the entire population of the enemy? Shall we batter Hamas enough to march in and send its leaders into exile? Shall we become the political masters of Gaza once again and succeed in getting them to love us, or at least moderate their hate to the point that they will not attack us?

DAN VOGEL
Jerusalem

Sir, – As long as Israel observes strict rules of engagement in accordance with international law, it can never win any military campaign against Hamas and the other terror organizations in Gaza. By following these laws, Israel gives its enemies an unassailable advantage, no matter how superior its weaponry, tactics or fighting caliber of its troops.

Had the present laws of engagement been adhered to by the allied forces in World War II, Nazi Germany and imperial Japan would probably still be on the rampage – unless, because of undue consideration for enemy civilians, the Allies capitulated.

RALPH DOBRIN
Jerusalem

Sir, – It’s great that Hamas is celebrating. Let us award it victory certificates – with more such “triumphs” it will not be around too long.

Bolstered by the success of Iron Dome, let us next develop a weapon that mends the mental health of Hamas and its supporters.

ALFRED INSELBERG
Ra’anana

Sir, – While your esteemed paper is overflowing with expert opinions as to who won or lost the recent mini-war, the most important aspect is overlooked: Israel won because effective hasbara (public diplomacy) won the support of the civilized world.

The importance of this cannot be overstated. When in due course Hamas breaks the armistice, we will have worldwide support for however we retaliate. This is a much better option than overrunning Gaza now with a “disproportionate response” and many civilian casualties. Moreover, what would we achieve? Inheriting a further 1.5 million hostile Arabs and definitely no peace? Israel achieved a major physical and moral victory at a relatively low cost. Some of the benefits we may see in the next few months in the international arena.

BERNHARD LAZARUS
Tel Aviv

Millionaire leaders

Sir, – Martin Sherman (“Israel 2012: Tactical brilliance, strategic imbecility,” Into the Fray, November 23) has clearly pointed out the incompetence of Israeli political leaders in forging a safe environment in every city and village in Israel.

Who in his right mind would be stupid enough to immigrate to this land run by political narcissists who seem to be concerned about their own fortunes? Our three main political geniuses – Netanyahu, Barak and Liberman, all millionaires apparently trying to protect their bank accounts – have found for themselves reinforced concrete shelters as the rest of us seek ways to stay alive.

Our fate seems to rest in the hands of egocentric persons concerned mainly about their own protection and welfare. Barak has even failed to supply many of us with gas masks, which may be necessary for the next weapon to be used against us. But he and his family are undoubtedly protected.

What must we do? How can we survive in this part of the world without adhering to the dictates of European and other Western leaders? Our greatest enemy, I think, is the betrayal and deceit by our so-called friends – and our millionaire leaders’ concerns about their own safety and fortunes.

MICHAEL TAL
Jerusalem

Not that stupid

Sir, – Regarding “Olmert, Livni to announce political future as early as today” (November 22), election day is also Judgment Day for politicians. The voters judge the politicians – among others – by their moral virtues, as distinct from courts, which judge people only by criminal standards and rules.

Based on moral standards, Olmert is a corrupt politician.

That the criminal court did not find him guilty does not diminish from the moral gravity of the evidence of having accepted money from anyone who was prepared to give it to him. By all moral standards he is viewed by a large portion of the public as corrupt and enjoying the good life with the money of others.

Having just reached a ceasefire with Hamas, one should not forget that Olmert was one of the main protagonists and architects of the Gush Katif expulsion by the Sharon government, promising security, peace and wellbeing for the citizens of the South. Well, it is just too ridiculous to think that such a person wants to return to politics and ask for a vote of confidence from Israel’s citizens. We are not that stupid.

SHLOMO FELDMANN
Givatayim

Null and void

Sir, – Gershon Baskin spreads disinformation when he claims that the 1947 Partition Plan legitimized Israel’s existence. In truth, the 1922 Mandate for Palestine provided the legal underpinning for the Jewish state. The partition plan should be deemed null and void for the following reasons: 1. When the UN General Assembly met to decide on the plan, the Mandate, which was still legally in effect, prohibited (Article 5) the transfer of any land under its jurisdiction to a foreign power.

2. The partition proposal was a recommendation only, and not legally binding. According to UN’s charter, the General Assembly had no authority to make binding decisions.

3. While the Zionists reluctantly accepted the plan, it was rejected out of hand by the Arabs. This outright rejection, in and of itself, should have rendered the plan null and void from the start.

4. The Arabs grossly violated the partition plan when they invaded the newborn State of Israel with the intent to annihilate it, thereby nullifying even the moral validity of the decision.

5. Since the United Nations – as successor to the League of Nations, which granted the Jewish people the legal right to Palestine – is obliged to meet the Mandate’s obligations regarding territories in the Jewish national home (pursuant to Article 80 of its charter), and since the partition plan wholly violated Article 80, this plan was invalid from the start and should be regarded as illegal, null and void.

MICHAEL GOTTLIEB
Ginot Shomron

Reliving those days

Sir, – In “From our archives,” Alexander Zvielli brings alive the unforgettable, critical days leading up to the UN resolution on the partition of Palestine on November 29, 1947.

As an 89-year-old from England, I remember those days so well. Many thanks to Mr. Zvielli for enabling me to relive them!

RUTH RIGBI
Jerusalem

Money back

Sir, – I have discovered the ultimate definition of chutzpah – it is The Jerusalem Post on November 14 devoting two entire doublesided pages of newsprint to an advertisement for a food store – for which you presumably were well paid – thus reducing content by four pages.

Your newspaper generally appears to contain 12 doublesided pages at an advertised price of NIS 12, which, if my math is correct, works out to NIS 1 per doubled-sided page.

Each paying reader in effect subsidized the Post that day by NIS 2. May I have my NIS 2 back please?
DEREK PENTOL
Ramat Aviv

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