Healing the hand that stones you
Regarding “PA forces rescue soldiers who strayed into Jenin” (February 13), imagine this scenario: One of the stone throwers in such an incident injures himself and thinks: “I must go to an Israeli hospital and have my injury attended to.”
The number of Arabs one sees when visiting our hospitals suggests that such a scenario reflects reality. I therefore suggest that a blacklist be maintained by an appropriate authority that lists locations in which such incidents occur. The residents of these locations would be ineligible to visit any Israeli health facility for, say, a year from the date of the incident.GERRY MYERS
Beit ZayitLeifer arrest a positive step
As a parent raising children in Israel, I am thankful that the alleged pedophile Malka Leifer, who is wanted by police in Australia, has finally been arrested and is now sitting in an Israeli jail (“Arrest could mean Leifer’s extradition on sex charges,” February 13).
At last, the Israeli justice system has been able to see through her pretending to be sick. This is a positive step toward her being extradited to Australia.
Thank you to everyone in both Australia and Israel who helped with the collective effort toward bringing Leifer to justice.HOWARD SHROOT
JerusalemWritten in stone
Regarding “Archeology in Israel is more than a dig” (Above the Fold, February 13), in an archaeology course many years ago, I heard the head of archaeology for the southern region repeat to us over and over again that Israel had more than 30,000 archeological sites – and only 250 had been excavated.
We have such a little piece of Jewish earth here, such a tiny land – but many miles deep in history! Facts on the ground! We are uncovering the hidden treasures of the sand here on our bridge between three continents. For thousands of years, traders, merchants and people from all over the earth came, conquered and left, leaving behind priceless remnants. No one can rewrite our history – it is written in stone!
As a licensed Israeli tour guide, I tell my groups: “So you think you came to Israel, the Holy Land, to be a pilgrim. But today you will learn a new profession and become an amateur archaeologist.” Everyone smiles.HELA TAMIR
Neve IlanStriking out
Yonatan Gher, in “Nobody should buy this occupation” (The Fifth Column, February 9), makes several points. One is that “Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are illegal according to international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits countries from moving populations into territories occupied in a war.”
Gher is wrong on several levels pursuant to international law.
First, the applicable sections of the 4th Geneva Convention are Part IV, Sections 47-78, which do not apply to Judea and Samaria. A review of these articles, as well as a review by the then-director-general for General Affairs of the International Committee of the Red Cross conclusively show that “occupied territories” refers only to situations where these territories constituted a prior legitimate power and not an amorphous entity for which there was no clear title. This clearly was not the case with Judea and Samaria. Rather, it was clearly contested after the cessation of the British Mandate.
Second, Prof. Yehuda Z. Blum, in his seminal 1968 Israel Law Review article “The Missing Reversioner: Reflections on the Status of Judea and Samaria,” states that “upon the abrogation of the Mandate responsibility by Great Britain, sovereignty was not created by the inhabitants of that territory.... The Kingdom of Jordan never acquired the status of a legitimate sovereign over Judea and Samaria.... After Israel secured the territories after the Jordanian aggression, the legal standing of Israel in the territories is that of a state which is lawfully in control of territory in respect of which no other state can show better title.... Since no state can make out a legal claim that is equal to that of Israel, this relative superiority of Israel may be sufficient under international law to make Israeli possession of Judea and Samaria indistinguishable from absolute title.”
One can reasonably posit that Gher has “struck out” on several legal levels in presenting a picture of his Amnesty trappings. The allegation that Judea and Samaria are occupied territories is a canard that cannot be accepted on legal considerations.I. GENDELMAN
JerusalemPoland’s new law
I agree with the sentiments expressed by Yael Antebi (“Jerusalem deputy mayor calls for cancellation of student trips to Poland,” February 8). But like so many other political statements, her thoughts lack strategy.
What the government should be asked to do is suspend all student visits to Poland until such time as the Polish government cancels the legislation whitewashing the country from complicity in the Holocaust. This would enable the Israeli government (and Jewish organizations throughout the world) to keep the matter under review and remind the Polish government publicly of its moral responsibility as an accessory to the atrocities, even if the Poles were under German occupation at the time.
I visited Auschwitz and other areas where atrocities were carried out. Some of the most moving experiences we had were our visits to various forest sites where children had been gathered together and massacred. The Nazis needed considerable help from the local Polish communities to carry out their foul deeds!SIDNEY HASS
The Polish government’s law banning the designation of death camps located in Poland as “Polish death camps” has caused a great deal of anger in Israel and the United States, especially among Holocaust survivors.
Granted, there was and still is a great deal of antisemitism in Poland; just ask Jews who experienced it first-hand. However, there were also good people who risked their lives to save Jewish neighbors. We should ask ourselves whether we would have done what these wonderful people did.
Admittedly, those who survived the horrors of Auschwitz are right to be angry, as they interpret the Polish law as denying history and the worst human catastrophe in memory. Perhaps the Polish government should make it clearer that this is not the case. Perhaps a change of the designation of the death camps to “Nazi German death camps in Poland” would be enough to make the law unnecessary.RACHEL KAPEN
West Bloomfield, Michigan
My mother, Eva Halperin Brotman, born in Poland, survived Treblinka (yes, Treblinka), Majdanek, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Travniki, all of them camps in Poland. She ended up in Theresienstadt at the time of her liberation.
She went back to Poland to search for family remnants and went to the rabbi in Kielce, a family friend. She joined a food line, where she saw a Pole looking at her with fire in his eyes. And then he spoke: “They said they killed them all, and here they are, the Jews like mushrooms after the rain.”
My mother went back to the rabbi’s house, got her knapsack and told the family she was leaving Poland forever. The Kielce Pogrom was three days later. My mother kept her promise.NANCY JACOB
One of the photos accompanying “Police recommend bribery charges against Netanyahu in two cases” was of Noah Mozes, the late father of Arnon Mozes, the current publisher of Yediot Aharonot and the person involved in the so-called Case 2000.
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