Rabin's true legacy
Sir, - With a good deal of debate over what Yitzhak Rabin's legacy is, 10 years after his assassination, excerpts from Rabin's own words as delivered in the Knesset on October 5, 1995 - and buried on the Foreign Ministry's Web site so as not to embarrass the Sharon government - clearly show what Rabin himself wanted his legacy to be.
Here is a summary. No to a Palestinian state, no to uprooting even "a single settlement" without a final peace agreement, yes to blocs of settlements "like Gush Katif," yes to Gush Etzion, yes to Joseph's tomb, yes to 70 percent of Judea and Samaria where building should accommodate natural growth of the Jewish population.
Sir, - It seems that the Israel Antiquities Authority is too busy looking after an old church in Megiddo ("Megiddo Prison expansion unlocks door to Christian past," November 6) to bother about Judaism's holiest site ("Archeologists decry planned work on Mount," November 10).
DAVID BEN JOSEPH
Sir, - Larry Derfner's column ("Sympathy for the mob," November 10) is very appropriate, but ends with the words "liberals are giving their sympathy to the mob" as if this was a new development.
Countless Arabs declare "Death to America" and "Death to Israel", yet leftist demonstrators demand "Hands off Iran," "Out of Iraq" or label Israel a "Nazi State."
Terrorists attack civilians worldwide, yet liberal media call the perpetrators "militants" or "freedom fighters. Israel takes in thousands of Ethiopians, yet to the leftists Israel is an "Apartheid state."
Jordan destroyed synagogues in Jerusalem after the War of Independence. Armed Palestinians burned the Tomb of Joseph and invaded the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. But the liberal Anglican Church in England and the Presbyterians in America call for divestment from Israel.
So now Larry Derfner discovers that liberals are giving their "sympathy to the mob?"
Sir, - The demographics of the Gaza strip, with its majority Arab population, were among the reasons cited by the government for giving up the Gaza Strip. Based on similar "demographics" noted in your editorial ("Haredi growth," November 10), perhaps there should be consideration of "giving up" Jerusalem to the haredim when they form a majority there.
Additionally, it is becoming tiresome to continually hear about haredim not serving in the army, without mention of the significant proportion of secular Israelis who avoid army service.
Sir, - Michael Melchior clearly discussed a very significant problem in Israel: The "rabble-rousing" among various segments of our community and the idea that some of them are disengaging entirely.
Although he accurately identified these as problems among the religious-Zionists, he failed to identify the political Left as an equal source of these difficulties. The Left presents the religious-Zionists as dominating life in Israel and imposing religious thought on all Israelis.
Ideally, and hopefully, rabble-rousing and the disengaging will end among all Israelis.
Sir - Evelyn Gordon generally writes sensibly - and I grant that she and MK Yuli Tamir have only good intentions - but her unqualified praise for Tamir's student loan program ("Student moans, November 10), leaves me uneasy.
The obvious hole in the program is repayment. There won't be nearly as much as the plan envisions. Before the first repayments come due, the exceptions will begin. MKs will exempt people who go to preferred places of residence or work, people who work in certain professions, families of fallen soldiers, the handicapped and so on. Not all at once of course, but once the idea catches on there will be no end to it.
Then the bar for income necessary for repayments will rise and the whole matter of income deferments will be manipulated.
Sir, - It is indeed about time that Israel did something to bring airline competition to Israel ("Opening the skies," November 9). The fares charged by El Al for flights to the Far East are far too high because they have no competition. It is time that El Al lost its monopoly.