April 24, 2019: Land for what?

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Land for what?
The news article “PLO to discuss revoking recognition of Israel” (April 23) points out one of the key problems of the “peace process.”
The crux of the dispute between the Arabs and Israel is Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), to which both sides feel they have a strong historical and legal claim. While Israel has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to compromise and come to a fair and equitable agreement, the Arabs are adamant that they will not compromise on a single inch of “their” territory.
They (the Arabs and much of the world) demand that Israel retreat fully to the narrow area within the 1948 ceasefire lines and admit thousands of people – several generations of “refugees” and their descendants – into the small area that would be left to Israel. In return, the Arabs claim they are prepared to recognize Israel and forswear violence.
Is this a good deal for Israel? Whatever precious land Israel relinquishes is gone forever, but with the stroke of a pen – for any pretext or claimed grievance whatsoever– the other side can “revoke” its recognition of Israel and resume violence – be it stabbings, firebombs, rocks on motorists, incendiary devices, rockets, storming the border, etc., and Israel will be in a critically weakened state and worse strategic position to defend itself.
As reflected in the results of the recent election, Israelis, including those on the Left, increasingly grasp the inherit imbalance and folly of the land-for-promises concept.

That settles it
Regarding “10 things to know about how the settlers voted” (April 23), it is about time that The Jerusalem Post, the flagship English language print medium, started referring to “settlers” as citizens or residents of Israel; and referring to “settlements” as cities or communities located in Judea, Samaria or the Modi’in region.
Unfortunately, to the world, the words “settlers” and “settlements” have acquired a mistaken negative illegal connotation.
The Post has a responsibility to those of us who live in those areas to refer to us no differently than it does to other Israeli citizens and residents.
Ganei Modi’in
Lacking extensive research here
Regarding “Mike Leigh tried to keep politics out of Peterloo – but couldn’t” (April 22), I fail to understand why you gave print space to this man or his film.
Leigh is one of those parrots of the anti-Israel Left and a supporter of BDS. He recently affixed his signature to the letter to the BBC, printed in the anti-Israel Guardian, demanding that they boycott the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel.
In the article it states that “he did extensive research” so that his film would be as historically accurate as possible. Perhaps he should do extensive research into the situation here in Israel before maligning our country.
Passover miracle
Regarding “A Passover tribute to President Trump” (April 19), I agree with Ruthie Blum. We seem to be living in a different Jewish world than in the past.
This Passover we relished the abundant fruits of our postage-stamp sized nation, with growing prosperity, superior technical innovation, confidence and delight – plus the delicious options created throughout the extensive menu and lengthy Seder. What a celebration after being persecuted, tyrannized and belittled by our enemies for centuries. A miracle has occurred.
For once, we have immense and ongoing moral backing from a US leader – with action. President Donald Trump’s vital aggressive agenda was to dismiss the deadwood in his administration and have them replaced with heavy-handed, realistic pro-Israel supporters such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, UN ambassador Nikki Haley and National Security Advisor John Bolton, who are not prepared to put up with the juvenile nonsense and hubris accepted by past insipid USA, UN and EU administrations with these concocted Arabs calling themselves “Palestinians.”
We look forward to the annexation of Area C and its connection to Jerusalem that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election promised – with the powerful and pragmatic support of Trump.


Populism vs moral conviction
Regarding “Why Cory Booker is cratering in the polls” (April 23), presidential candidate Booker has indeed been increasingly “creating daylight” (shades of Barack Obama) between his positions and Israel’s, to the disappointment of many of his former supporters, and that may be contributing to his slipping in the polls (only 4% in a recent poll).
Yet two candidates who are polling much better than Booker have actually gone so far as to call Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and by extension the many supporters who recently reelected him – a “racist.” Beto O’Rourke garnered 8% support and Bernie Sanders’s support is at 23%. Very few – if any – Democratic candidates have criticized Sanders and O’Rourke for the spurious “racist” charge.
One thing seems unfortunate but sure: there is a gaping and growing chasm between the populism of the Democrats and the moral conviction of Republicans in their views toward Israel and its government.

Shmuley Boteach states that Senator Booker is 'floundering in this election because he’s proven himself the classic politician, driven less by conviction than opportunity…’’
I would like to mention another reason why he will not be elected. During the Kavanaugh hearings, Booker proved himself to be a modern-day Inquisitor. His questions were intrusive, irrelevant and infuriating to anyone who values freedom and privacy – the lowest level having been reached when he asked Judge Kavanaugh, without even an iota of self-awareness, “Did you drink on weekdays? Yes or no, sir.”
This and other shameful questions worthy of the Spanish Inquisition are for all to watch on YouTube.


We need a little less free will
Regarding “Stop the outbreak” (April 22), your editorial was certainly justified but a little late, as is the Health Ministry.
Over the years, Israel and many other countries have suffered repeated unnecessary outbreaks of preventable diseases because of the arrogant ignorance of so-called experts who publicize their anti-vaccination propaganda via unsupported anecdotes, stories, half-truths and outright lies. Most of these have to do with very rare side effects or outright falsehoods like the measles and autism fake research. These people must be called to account. Shamefully, some of them are doctors.
On the other hand, parents who willfully ignore the recommendations of professionals are equally culpable. Although the ethics of compulsory vaccination are complex (a subject I lecture on at the university medical faculty), more and more liberal democracies have reached the conclusion that this is not an area for the free exercise of will (like, for example, seat belts in cars or helmets for motorcyclists).
A professional committee should be established to determine criteria and immunizations that should now be made compulsory, with proper sanctions.

Head, Department of Pediatrics
Ziv Medical Center
Wait a second
In the article on calculating the dates of Passover and of Easter (“Why is the Last Supper on a different night than all other Seder nights?” Jpost.com, April 21), Tzvi Joffre noted, “The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service… in a surprisingly Talmudic fashion, announces every year whether to add a leap year in order to bring Earth time completely in sync with solar time....”
Whether to add a leap year in the civil calendar is not announced every year. Were that the case, that would completely confuse everybody, including calendar makers, sports leagues, wedding planners, airlines, cruise ships and everybody else who needs to know the civil calendar more than one year ahead of time.
What the writer meant to say is that an announcement is made whether to add a leap second. That decision is meaningful to only a handful of us.
Furthermore, a writer for a Jewish newspaper’s website should not refer to a date as “AD,” as that term is a Christian religious reference. Better to use “CE,” which is a little more neutral.
Climatologists & particle physicists
Regarding “Earth Day 2019” (April 23), we are told that we (humans) are to blame for climate change. We are told that there is a 99.9999% chance that humans are the cause of global warming (99.9999% is the “gold standard” for certainty, a statistical measure used in particle physics).
It is ironic that particle physics is mentioned along with the “gold standard.” Particle physics has been forced to invent “dark matter,” which is believed to comprise 85% of the matter in the universe but has never been directly observed. On the other hand, particle physics is an extremely reputable and well-established science and 100% or so of particle physicists believe in “dark matter” even though they have no real understanding of what it actually is – perhaps undiscovered sub-atomic particles.
Perhaps undiscovered factors other than CO2 release are also contributing to climate change – maybe an unexplained change in the concentration of “dark matter” on the earth’s surface. Maybe the particle physicists and the climatologists should get together.

Professor Emeritus of Radiation Physics