Why should they?
Sir, – On Friday, September 28, you printed a JTA report
headlined “US senators ask Cuba to release Gross.” It was referring to Alan
Gross, a Jewish- American contractor incarcerated there for alleged anti-Cuban
The request appears to have been on humanitarian grounds, as
Gross’s health is deteriorating and two family members are either sick or dying.
This is similar to the request made by family and friends of Jonathan Pollard to
US President Barack Obama.
Simply and bluntly put, why should the Cubans
release a prisoner when the US will not?
Sir, – I have read Martin Sherman’s columns (Into the Fray) on his
solution to the Israel- Palestine problem with interest.
He rests his
argument on three points, each of which has, to my mind, an inherent
The first – and most important, in Sherman’s view – is UNRWA,
the United Nations Relief Works Agency. UNRWA was formed as a temporary solution
to the refugee problem arising out of our War of Independence.
home owner who has done renovations knows, there is nothing so permanent as a
Apart from this whimsy, UNRWA has grown so large and
unwieldy that only a (biblical) flood can get rid of it.
The second point
deals with the willingness of the outside world to accept the influx of millions
of migrants. Europe, as a whole, has grown sick of the mass influx of Muslims
and would probably put obstacles in the way of even those who are financially
independent. As far as Muslim states are concerned, I do not believe that after
so many years of rejection they could be persuaded to accept this
Third, Sherman’s series of columns focused on individuals as
being the way to circumvent Palestinian intransigence. I fear it would take the
murder of only one departing family by a fanatic for the whole scheme to
I regret that I can see no way to overcome these objections to
what is a most ingenious piece of reasoning.
Martin Sherman’s plan to entice Arabs living in Judea and Samaria to sell their
property to Israel and emigrate depends on overcoming two major obstacles:
raising enormous funds and finding willing participants.
His plan would
require approval by the Israeli government and the High Court, and endorsement
by the international community – zero possibility.
It’s doubtful that the
Arabs would agree, even if some might be interested.
position would be forcible removal – also highly problematic and
There is a simple and inexpensive alternative:
1. Adopt the
Levy Commission report, legalize and expand hilltop/ outposts and make land in
Judea and Samaria available to Jewish settlement.
2. Annex Area C and
state land in Area B, and declare sovereignty over the entire area.
Establish a governmentbacked fund to purchase property at fair market
In addition, Sherman could establish a private non-profit
corporation to gather funds and purchase property.
I wish him success.
Meanwhile, we need practical and immediate solutions.
Sir, – I had to read the piece by Ben Caspit (“Panic as
diplomacy,” Observations, September 28) twice to understand how any Israeli
journalist could form an opinion such as his regarding the Iranian threat to
His playing down of the clear existential threat is not based on
acceptable intelligence or other informed reports. Rather, he uses the occasion
to reflect his intense dislike for Prime Minister Netanyahu, blaming him for the
soured relations with US President Barack Obama without even considering, as do
so many Israelis, that Obama’s relationship with Israel reflects his dislike for
I, like many others, sense a lack of honest support from the
American president and would praise our prime minister for the clear and
realistic warning he provides to the nations of the world.
MONTY M. ZION
Sir, – Ben Caspit derides Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for sowing
panic among Israelis.
Frankly, I see little evidence of this. Schools are
open. Consumers throng the malls. They also buy cars and apartments.
the unemployment rate is very low compared to other countries. In addition,
Israel’s financial rating is tip-top.
If Bibi hadn’t been warning people
about Iran’s drive toward regional hegemony for more than a decade, does Caspit
think the world would be as concentrated on stopping it now? Would he like to
out-source our security to President Obama? If Iran achieves nuclear weapons
despite Obama’s insistence that he would prevent it, would his second-term
assurances be worth anything? America is our best and greatest ally. But Israel
mustn’t hand off its security to another nation. The one and only Jewish state
needs a forceful leader like Bibi to galvanize Israel and, hopefully, the West
to recognize the dangers we all face from militant Islam.
Sir, – Ben Caspit writes as do many columnists – they shoot their
arrow and then draw the bull’s eye around it. His arrow is aimed at Prime
Minister Netanyahu, who never finds favor in his eyes.
The bull’s eye he
paints – that Iran is certainly not an existential threat to Israel – is hardly
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is continuing his mad
rush to develop a nuclear capability as he repeats ad nauseam his desire to wipe
out Israel. What else does Caspit need to convince him that a real existential
threat exists? One or two nuclear bombs could accomplish Iran’s
This is not a fabrication or Netanyahu’s panic-stricken
See the light
Sir, – I find it
incredible that I am the only person among the seven million living in Israel
who hates daylight saving time.
The media, in whatever form, are doing a
splendid job of brainwashing the public about the wonders of saving an extra
hour during the day. Every news commentator starts his program with a snide
remark about Israel going back to winter time in the middle of the
For those of us who get up early in the morning, let me tell you
a secret: It is pitch dark at a quarter to six in the morning in September and
unfortunately we have to switch on the light. Our great desire to emulate Europe
overlooks the fact that it is farther north and has broad daylight at 9:30 at
night and light again at 4:00 in the morning.
Do we save electricity in
Israel? Hardly. We just use our air conditioners for longer hours. The savings
in energy are small. A one-day strike by the railways or ports causes far more
damage to the economy than the savings over an entire summer period of Daylight
As for the health benefits, one only has to Google “health
issues and daylight saving” and discover that contrary to all propaganda,
daylight saving has a negative influence on sleep patterns, depression, heart
disease and car accidents. In fact, some countries are considering scrapping
The arguments for and against Daylight Saving Time, as most other
issues in Israel, are political.
If you want an extra hour of light you
are modern; if you don’t you are either a haredi wheeler-dealer or a member of
Shas. I am neither, but I do like to look the truth in the face and also like
getting up when there’s daylight.
TOVA GERTA TEITELBAUM