Sir, – The European Union has taken the meaning of chutzpah to a new height (“EU said to be building hundreds of illegal structures in Area C,” February 6). It objects to Israel’s building on land that rightfully belongs to us and then illegally builds for Palestinians, who have no legal, moral or historical right to that land.
How dare it interfere in Israel’s affairs? The EU’s support for the Palestinians is blatant and disgusting.
It should concentrate on maintaining its own countries, which are rapidly disintegrating and being turned over to Muslims.
As far as Israel holding back on reacting to the possible anger of the EU, who cares? It criticizes us even if we do nothing.
One can only hope our government will do what it must and destroy these buildings, the sooner the better.
Sir, – Well, well. Finally a headline in the Post noting international funding for defiance of our laws and theft of our land.
Nevertheless, your reporters immediately (in the second paragraph) breach journalistic ethics by labeling the organization researching and reporting the situation as right-wing, before even describing what it does. Regavim is a legitimate organization that researches and brings very important facts to light.
I have noticed the enormous increase of building in Arab areas both inside and outside the Green Line as I’ve traveled throughout the country. I have even mentioned it many times (only to have it edited out) when writing to you concerning articles on Jewish building.
As a senior citizen who cannot find affordable housing, I am extremely angry and discouraged.
Jews can’t build, but the EU can! To capitulate to the Arabs out of fear of violence, and to the EU and international community out of fear of boycotts, is totally unacceptable and counter- productive. It will only bring more of the same. The laws of the state are for the benefit of our society and should not be used to punish the Jewish population while rewarding the Arabs and their funders.
It’s not enough for one organization and one right-thinking British politician to stand against this. We all have to demand that our government remove these illegal buildings before the facts of Arabs on the ground are irreversible and the terrorist threat comes even closer.
Sir, – I feel as if I am awakening to a nightmare.
I honestly thought British rule was gone from this country, thanks to the Irgun and Stern Group. Now, because of fear of what the EU will say and do, are we slipping back to the time when the British ruled? When they did as they pleased and allowed Jews to be slaughtered by the Arabs? When they did not allow Jews escaping from Hitler to enter the country? When they left their weapons in Arab hands? I need to get permission to build any structure outside my apartment. Along comes the EU, knowing that Israel wants to avoid a diplomatic tangle, and builds structures for the Beduin.
If Israeli leaders remain frightened of the EU and of US President Barack Obama and the world in general, there won’t be, God forbid, an Israel. It is time for new leaders who do not fear the world and fear only the God of Israel.
Gilbert the mensch
Sir, – With regard to “Sir Martin Gilbert: A personal memoir” (Observations, February 6), yes, he was indisputably a mensch, as I was privileged to discover over the past 40 years of shared friendship.
Despite his brilliance and fame, Martin was unpretentious – and even quirky at times – generously disposed to sharing his invaluable time among his numerous friends.
We met through our joint involvement in the campaign for Soviet Jewry when a former refusenik, Galina Zelichenok, came to London (where she stayed in my home) to campaign for her husband Raoul, incarcerated in a labor camp in the Soviet Union. She introduced us.
Martin had secured an invitation from former prime minister Ted Heath to meet with Galina. I offered to drive and was invited to join them for tea and snacks. On the return journey, Martin requested that I park outside a row of shops and asked me to lend him a couple of pounds. He proceeded to walk into a florist and return with a beautiful bunch of carnations, which he presented to me with a flourish! Needless to say, I was delighted.
Sometimes I was invited to his home in Highgate for breakfast and encouraged to indulge in his latest Marks and Spencer’s delicacy. He also showed me his archives in the basement, where the walls were filled from top to bottom with manuscripts. What enchanted me most, though, was that he taught me how to correctly open up and section a mango – incredible, as I had grown up in Africa, with mango trees in our back garden! Rest in peace, dear Martin. I will never forget and will always miss you.
GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS
Major, major news!
Sir, – Caroline B. Glick writes in “Hamas and the nexus of global jihad” (Column One, February 6) that the Obama administration is pressuring the Israeli and Egyptian governments by renewing its engagement with and support for their enemies, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
If this is not true, why is it printed in your newspaper? But if it is true, why is it not a major news story? DAVID ROTENBERG Jerusalem PM need not debate Sir, – With regard to “Debate champ: Let’s have one between candidates for PM” (February 5), I favor a debate between would-be candidates for prime minister with the caveat that the sitting PM does not participate.
There is no sound reason for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to join the fray. His accomplishments and failures are part of the public record.
No one has had more exposure or more intense critical coverage than he has. Open any newspaper. Tune into any radio station or TV channel, and there you will find an “expert” Netanyahu critic.
This is not the case with the other candidates.
In a debate, I would like to hear what they have achieved that makes them worthy for perhaps one of the most difficult positions in the world. It’s well and good for them to criticize the incumbent and talk about their intentions, but how can voters be confident that they will carry through? In short, what are their track records? Leading the State of Israel is not a game for amateurs. As far as I am concerned, only Bibi can do it, bottle deposits notwithstanding.
Sir, – With regard to “Postal prices to rise” (Business & Finance, January 30), of the numerous criticisms I have of the Israel Postal Company, including inefficiencies, disorganization and poor customer service, its lack of consistency rates at the top.
I am all for paying more, but I expect to see reforms, improvements and better service.
The article states that the cost of sending an international letter to the US of the lowest weight will rise from NIS 5.61 to NIS 8.27. One month ago I purchased 20 stamps. The clerk told me it was NIS 5.60 to send an international letter. The price has varied every time I have inquired.