Abbas, the UN and us
Sir, – You write in “Official: Israel’s reaction to UN move
depends on Abbas’s next step” (November 26) that according to diplomatic
figures, the EU and US had urged Israel not to “overreact” to the Palestinians’
United Nations bid for nonmember state status, and to wait and see what Abbas
does once the resolution is passed before making any “irreversible”
Are they kidding? When does Israel ever overreact or take
irreversible actions? Israel likes to sound tough but everyone knows by now that
surrender comes easily to us.
The Palestinians know only too well our
weakness and that we are afraid to do anything that will annul the Oslo Accords,
no matter what they do. They know we are more afraid of world opinion than of
our immediate enemies, who are free to initiate and stop terror against us
whenever the mood takes them.
Surrender and concessions are the name of
the game, but only from Israel.
Sir, – On Thursday,
the Palestinians will go to the UN. I would like to call on our prime minister:
Bibi, say yes! A Palestinian state is in Israel’s interest – especially today,
after another difficult round of violence.
It is clearer than ever that
without some kind of arrangement it will never end. Only if we come to an
agreement with moderate Palestinians, and only when a Palestinian state arises
alongside Israel, will we be able to prevent the next bloody round.
Palestinians’ request at the UN corresponds with Israel’s stand. They seek the
world body’s recognition of a nonmember state whose borders and other core
issues will be determined through negotiations. This was exactly Prime Minister
Netanyahu’s position as expressed in his Bar-Ilan speech of June
Whether we like it or not, there is already an absolute majority in
the General Assembly. (The US cannot use its power of veto in that forum.) We
can support the Palestinian move and win international support for ourselves, or
remain against it and be seen by the entire world as being against compromise
We have much to gain and nothing to lose.
Must remain strong
Sir, – I am not usually a letter writer,
but I want to thank Isi Leibler for putting our situation into perspective
(“Gaza: Victory, stalemate or defeat?,” Candidly Speaking, November
Yes, it is an uneasy quiet and we expect more noise around the
corner, but we will do our best to enjoy every day here. We are not sorry that
we chose Israel and Ashkelon as our home.
I did not get to know my
mother’s family because there was nowhere for them to go in 1940. There was no
State of Israel. Thank God my mother escaped from Germany and made it to
Israel is our home and has been our home for thousands of
Although we have been observant for just 15 years, we know we
can’t sit back and be passive.
We went to synagogue on Shabbat while the
sirens were going off and some rockets got past Iron Dome. We continued to pray,
but we also thanked God for our soldiers and our government.
remain strong here in Israel, and with the help of God we will see a time of
Sir, – Many of us in
Israel, especially those in harm’s way, were very disappointed that Israel
agreed to a cease-fire with Hamas. That is the same belief of Benjamin Kerstein
(“Trapped by a failed strategic ‘conceptzia,’” Comment & Features, November
26), although it is about the only thing we have in common.
statement that we flat-out lost is really the response of a simpleton. This was
not a war but an operation, one of many that Israel must undertake as part of
the big picture that almost all of us understand – dealing with our most ominous
threat, Iran. This is not just about Hamas and the Gaza Strip or Hezbollah and
Calling our prime minister the man who lost the war is very
short-sighted. I am sure that many of us who were disappointed with the decision
for a ceasefire have begun to realize all the positives that the cease-fire has
Egypt’s leader finally came to grips with the fact that he
must interact with Israel, whether he likes it or not. The Europeans, starting
with Britain, realized that Israel had no choice but to defend citizens who were
being fired upon indiscriminately for no reason. Most of all, Prime Minister
Netanyahu was able to form a new bond with US President Barack Obama, the leader
of the free world who will be in power for the next four years, whether we like
it or not.
Israel will need the support of all of the above, especially
the US, if and when the time comes for the real war, the war against
Sir, – Once again, Israel has entered
into a cease-fire with an enemy. Photographs of Hamas celebrations included
children being fed hatred, a replay of the hatred fed to their
Any chance for a real, lasting peace requires a change in their
education, which currently is directed toward continuous
Without this, there is little hope for more than a brief
respite from war that is waged against Israel by neighbors for the purpose of
As long as our enemies deny our historic and legal
rights to our homeland there can be no lasting peace – just a truce between
Subtleties of language
Sir, – The
distinguished professor of law Alan Dershowitz has a point in “Why a cease-fire
will not last” (Comment, November 25). But he uses two prominent words that give
too much credit to Hamas; were he living here he might have caught the
When millions of Israelis run for shelter during an alert we
don’t “panic.” We run because we have only seconds and cling to life. Panic is
something that overtakes you. It is only a small minority of the population that
is flooded by fear.
And when the Israeli government needs to respond to
rocket fire, it is not “provoked.” That word implies apologetics. Our leaders
respond. They are not provoked, as a surgeon is not provoked into conducting an
MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
– Uri Savir’s “Gaza and the West Bank – Hamas and Fatah” (Savir’s Corner,
November 23) presents a wish for peace that we all share. However, history books
teach us that the only times Muslims have agreed to make peace is when they
achieved all their demands.
Peace negotiators like Arafat and Abbas do
not represent just the Palestinians, but the entire Muslim world. As such they
must demonstrate heroism and toughness.
An attitude of give and take,
compromise and accommodation is not in their dictionary.
We need to
understand this point.
Sir, – We are
looking for the survivors among some 2,500 Jewish prisoners from Bergen- Belsen,
including some 700 children, who were aboard a train that was liberated on April
13, 1945, near the town of Farsleben by the 30th Infantry Division, US Ninth
They are asked to contact Frank Towers at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or me at either email@example.com or