Matter of time
The state has nothing to ask the High Court of Justice, because the court is not authorized to set timetables for the government. The government has to act according to its own timetable and priorities (“State to ask High Court for new delay in demolishing Amona,” December 11).
The state has to act exactly as it acts on demolition orders for illegal Arab construction in Jerusalem, illegal construction by Beduin in the Negev, and illegal construction by Palestinians on government- owned land. Until then, the verdict of the High Court on Amona is a miscarriage of justice, punishing 200 law-obeying citizens for no criminal act whatsoever, and rewarding two Palestinians with land they’ve probably never seen, cultivated or made use of, and probably never will in the future.
One thing is sure: The state must not evacuate Amona during Hanukka, as prescribed by the court’s revered justices, who apparently have not the slightest attachment to Jewish values. If Hanukka does not mean anything to them, then perhaps we should mention to them that December 25 is also Christmas.SHLOMO FELDMANN
Regarding “Political preparations for ‘Christmukkamona’” (Frontlines, December 9), allow me to suggest a more apt headline: “Political preparations for Hanukka expulsion/destruction of Amona.” What is this compulsion to join a Jewish celebration of victory to one whose origins are far removed from Judaism and which brought with it great misery for our people? I am disappointed that reporter Gil Hoffman, whom I always had down as a religious Jew, should write so casually and acceptingly that “[i]nterfaith families will have it especially good this year, because they can celebrate both holidays together with what has become known as Christmukka.”
Exactly what is good about people marrying out of their religion and celebrating a holiday that is opposed to everything we believe in, or should believe in?
Left-wing protest organizer Naftali Raz (“Dozens start sit-in outside PM’s residence over settlements bill,” December 9) and other protesters describe the legislation as a “manifestly illegal measure to seize privately owned Palestinian land,” an “ugly blot on the Israeli legal code” and “land theft.”
Mr. Raz seems unaware of the legal principle of “eminent domain,” which is, as any dictionary will confirm, the right of the government to confiscate private property for public use by virtue of the dominion of the sovereign power over all lands within its jurisdiction. Therefore, no “land theft” is involved in the settlement bill; the government is simply exercising its right of eminent domain.
I once owned a large plot near the Rishon Lezion cemetery. Some years ago, against my will, the municipality confiscated my plot in order to extend the cemetery.
No one considers this action to be “an ugly blot on the Israeli legal code.”
What Mr. Raz is really saying is that he disagrees with the decision of the Knesset to exercise its legal rights in this case. Of course, he has every right to disagree, but he should have stated the matter honestly instead of subjecting us to his bombastic statements.NATHAN AVIEZER
What is this duplicity in the use of Amona with regard to eminent domain? It is all politics.
In the 1960s, I bought a parcel of 1.85 dunam, net of roads, on a plateau overlooking the Mediterranean in Zichron Ya’acov. When I came as an oleh in the 1990s, I found that the size of my property had been reduced to 0.85. dunam, and instead of overlooking the sea, it had been moved inland.
When I complained and asked for compensation, I was told that since I had not complained for 20 years, the government could do what it desired. Why the difference between me and the Arabs?
Hatred in the air
With regard to “Coalition chairman: I wish Arabs didn’t vote” (December 11), Israeli politicians are taking a “Trump” on US President- elect Donald Trump’s disgusting xenophobic behavior by saying in public what otherwise never would be uttered out loud.
MK David Biton’s statements only prove this.
Tragically, as in the US, these kinds of outrageous remarks are becoming part of the standard rhetoric in the public sector, and the publicity Biton and his ilk receive from the media only validate his opinions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lack of response implies that he agrees with his coalition chairman.
There is so much hatred in the air. How did we get here?
Tzipori Go ahead, stiff ’em
One of the major factors in US President-elect Donald Trump’s victory was his ability to sell the image of a successful businessman who will apply his experience to “make America great again.” This is also reflected in his cabinet appointments of prominent and successful business people (“Trump to name Exxon CEO Tillerson as secretary of State,” International News, December 11).
Using his vast business experience and acumen, Trump could solve America’s crushing debt problem immediately upon assuming the presidency by simply declaring bankruptcy, stiffing America’s creditors and starting anew with a clean slate.SAMUEL DERSHOWITZ
Misses the dynamic
In “‘Everyone I hate is Hitler’: The dangerous politicization of antisemitism” (Terra Incognita, November 21), Seth J. Frantzman misses the real dynamic of why antisemitism became such an issue in this year’s US presidential campaign.
For about a generation, the Democratic Party has consisted of two kinds of constituencies: The larger, from the perspective of potential votes, consists of members of identity groups (blacks, Latinos, feminists, members of public-sector unions and LGBTs).
The other half, which has provided most of the party’s money, has been based in various elites: finance, the entertainment world, the media and academia.
Electoral success with this kind of constituency depends on holding as many of the identity-group members as possible, which translates into fear-mongering. For blacks, the claim is that the Republicans will bring back racism.
For Latinos, the issue is immigration.
For feminists, it’s mainly abortion. And for LGBTs, it’s threats against gay rights.
Dependence on fear-mongering requires that there be no perceived progress on the issues that matter to these constituencies. For example, the Obama administration’s approach to race exacerbated the perception of racism. Its immigration policy was intended to be recognized as outlandish, so when Republicans stopped it, the Democrats could point to this out to their Latino voters.
The reason antisemitism became an issue this year is that President Barack Obama spent much of the past eight years trying to add a Muslim identity group to the Democrats’ coalition. This resulted in Israel-bashing, the exclusion of the Islamic dimension in discussions of the sources of terror, and efforts to import as many Muslim immigrants as possible.
Jewish Democrats might be expected to react negatively to all this, and any reduction in the flow of Jewish contributions could adversely impact the party’s ability to outspend the Republicans. So they turned to their standard playbook: fear-mongering. For Jews, that means greater attention by the media elite to incidents of antisemitism coming from the Right, even as they’ve sought to deny the far-worse problem of antisemitism coming from the Left.
That this effort might have legitimized antisemitism in general doesn’t appear to bother them at all.YALE ZUSSMAN