August 14: Sinai steps
One will never hear from either Egypt or Abbas sorrow over any murdered Israeli, no matter how many concessions we make.
Letters Photo: Thinkstock/Imagebank
Sir, – Your lead story on August 12, “Palestinian Authority urges
Egypt to destroy Gaza tunnels,” states: “‘The Palestinian presidency renews its
rejection and condemnation of the criminal act carried out by murderous
fundamentalists in Sinai last week and affirms its full solidarity with Egypt’
said Tayeb Abdel Raheem, a top aide to Mahmoud Abbas.”
With such a bold
front page headline, are we to assume some special political importance from
this, such as terrorist- in-a-suit Mahmoud Abbas actually taking a stand against
terrorism? Perhaps the next headline will read that Jerusalem is so impressed
that they will feel the need to reward him yet again. I hope not, as I would
expect it to be obvious the only reason Abbas has come out in favor of Egypt’s
stand against Hamas, is, as always, the PA’s self interest.
never hear from either Egypt or Abbas sorrow over any murdered Israeli, no
matter how many dangerous concessions we make.
We have taken a big step
backward allowing Egypt full military access to the Sinai, and they will
certainly not want to leave. We have allowed the PA to build up from just 600
policemen, to what is now a well-equipped and trained army of some 6,000 men. I
just hope that we are not setting ourselves up for avoidable major
Whose best interest?
Sir, – I have not
read the American study upon which the editorial is based which suggests that
raising taxes for businesses runs the danger of removing employment for middle
and lower class workers of those businesses (“Corporate Taxes,” August
But the question which begs asking is this: Where exactly in today’s
worldwide economic recession are those investors going to take their money?
After all, in today’s economy with zero interest rates and both the US and
Europe in crisis, easy investments simply do not exist. A reasonable objective
would be to increase the tax on those businesses without deflating them to a
degree that they are no longer significantly lucrative for the
During last year’s cottage cheese crisis, it was found that
certain Israeli items were being exported to the US and sold at prices far lower
than the Israeli sales price. That means that even with the shipping costs and
the lower prices, the profits from those items were considered by the investor
as being worth the effort. So while cost regulation is not the same as taxing,
the premise that businesses will suffer and look elsewhere for investment
opportunities is apparently a false one.
The study may have merit but may
also have an agenda to influence economic policy in the US. In Israel, it is
well known that a small group of financial tycoons control a great deal
including the press.
Netanyahu has not succeeded in proving that he has
the best interests of the masses in his uppermost consideration and not the
interests of a small powerful group.
Sir, – I had to shake my head in disbelief when I read Yaakov Katz’s
“Keeping an eye on Sinai” (Security and Defense, Frontlines, August 10) which
partly discussed the events at the Kerem Shalom Crossing.
that Maj.- Gen. Tal Russo “made the right decision when he ordered the
evacuation of watchtowers manned by IDF soldiers... out of fear that they would
come under missile fire” is astonishing – especially considering that none of
the watchtowers was hit by a missile.
Katz goes on to say that “had
soldiers been inside, who knows what could have happened.”
For one thing,
such soldiers might have been able to stop the truck before it detonated at the
fence. For another, if properly armed, they might have been able to stop the
armored car from driving through the hole and proceeding to drive 2.5 km. down a
civilian road into Israel followed by a small force of ineffective IDF
It is indeed “lucky” that the terrorists, who were apparently
wearing explosive vests, did not make it into the Kerem Shalom community or some
other community nearby. I’m glad that Russo could heave “a sigh of relief” that
there were no casualties in Israel, but that is of little comfort to us here in
Tal Russo’s “surprise” and the lack of IDF preparedness
both at the Kerem Shalom Crossing and in the Road 12 attack last August have
become the trademark of a passive IDF that never seems to anticipate or be able
to deal with the continuous mortar and rocket attacks emanating from Gaza. It is
long past time for Russo, Gantz, and Barak to be replaced by men who know what
they are doing.
Sir, – I know, I
suspect you know and Martin Sherman certainly knows, that the ultimate dream of
Palestinian leaders, “moderate” and extremist alike, is an Israel-free Middle
East (“The alchemy of Palestinian nationhood,” Into the Fray, Observations,
August 10). As he points out, there is no secret about it. In paying lip-service
to the two-state solution, and even perhaps working towards it, any Palestinian
leader would still have his eye on the eventual goal.
But then, as
Sherman does not point out, much of the liberal Western world believes that many
Israeli politicians, and perhaps up to 50 percent of the Israeli public, dream
of a Greater Israel which incorporates the whole of Judea and Samaria – and
perhaps large parts of Lebanon and Jordan, to boot – within its
Sherman asks why Israel’s leadership has been unable to
expose the two-state solution as a flimsy falsehood. He does not ask why the
members of the Quartet (the US, the UN, the EU and Russia), both individually
and collectively, endorse it, nor why much of the rest of the Western world goes
along with it as well. The fact of the matter is that, no matter how deviously
attained, the case for a sovereign Palestinian state has been made, as far as
the majority of liberal opinion is concerned.
Politics is a hand-to-mouth
kind of business. Ultimate objectives are rarely attainable, let alone attained.
Whatever the differing dreams of the principals in peace negotiations might be,
the achievement of an agreement would create such a totally new situation that
all bets about the possible future would be off. Provided sufficient safeguards
were built into the terms of the accord, a two-state solution might indeed
provide Israelis and Palestinians with the peace, and the chance to live normal
lives, that both sides in the dispute crave.
Sir, – Your article, “Romanian Jews irate over Holocaust-denying
minister” (August 8) is very misleading. According to a recent book I read
written by a survivor from Transnistria, the true number of Jews murdered in
Romania was close to 400,000, because Romania during the war included the areas
Bessarabia, Bukovina and Transylvania.
From November 1941 until early
1944 Jews from these areas were deported in the most brutal manner to
Transnistria by both windowless cattle trains and death
Temperatures during February 1942 were around -40 Celcius in
Transnistria. People who survived the death marches died of cold, therefore,
there were few survivors.
These areas were part of Romania and under the
leadership of Marshal Ion Antonescu, who was happy to get into Hitler’s good
books. In early 1944, when Antonescu saw that Hitler was losing the war, he
stopped the killing and invited the Jews who had managed to escape to come back
to these areas, thus trying to cover his crimes. In fact the Russians who
captured the area tried and executed him for war crimes.
Romanians are trying to reinstate his name by naming streets after