Paris peace confab
Regarding “Netanyahu tells French FM: ‘Paris initiative could harm regional peace efforts’” (June 5), organizing a peace conference without Israel and the Palestinians seems like organizing a wedding with plenty of guests and well-wishers – but without the bride and groom.
MARION LUPU Haifa
Clearly, the God of Israel is angry with the French for convening an international conference of foreign ministers to discuss Middle East peace, but excluding Israel. He has sent a flood to punish French President François Hollande and his countrymen (“French prime minister Valls says Seine stable after floods kill four,” June 5).
I hate to think what will happen to Paris if the conference tries to impose a solution on the Land of Israel. Perhaps this should teach the world not to mess with us.
JACK S. COHEN NetanyaImpressed. Not
I read “Former Israeli and US officials unveil two security-based proposals for two-state solution” (June 5) and was very impressed by the knowledge and wisdom of those involved.
The key insight some of the former officials provide was summed up in the following: “[IDF Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amnon] Reshef stressed that military action and security measures are not enough to defeat terrorism.
‘It should be combined with helping the relevant Palestinians, whether they are in the West Bank, Jerusalem or Gaza, to improve their standards of living, provide them with a kind of hope,’ he said.”
I am sure that Reshef and the others left out some information that might explain why Palestinian hopes for killing all Jews will be ameliorated by the proposed Israeli benevolence. Maybe they can explain why, with all the aid the world has provided to the Gaza Strip, its residents think the best thing to do is build tunnels into Israel in anticipation of the next attack, and why thousands are killed worldwide by those seeking to satisfy Allah and Mohammad.
I hope the current members of the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Mossad and police force have other ideas on how to achieve peace.
PHILIP BRIEFF Jerusalem Mutual respect
When 19th-century British Christian Bible scholars James Finn and his wife Elizabeth Anne (1850s), and Col. Claude Conder (1870s) and others asked illiterate native farmers in Palestine for the names of local places, they were absolutely astonished that, as often as not, these fellahin replied by using the very same Hebrew names as found in the Bible (assuming, of course, that the places were mentioned there). Few Israelis know this, and most fellahin, if they ever did, seem to have forgotten.
This strongly suggests, to my mind at least, a pre-Arab, pre-Palestine, slightly aboriginal provenance for the fellahin. Recognition of this by Jews might be the beginning of the mutual respect called for in Daniel K.
Eisenbud’s “Conflict casts pall on capital ahead of Jerusalem Day” (June 5).
But what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander, and fellahin, in their modern-day incarnation as “Palestinians,” must also learn that the Jewish return and resettlement of the Land of Israel has been a central plank of Judaism for near on 2,000 years.
Both sides need to (re)educate themselves about the other. Dialogue, so far, has been a dialogue of the deaf. The bottom line is that fellah and Jew might well share a common origin, even though they seem to each other to be light years apart.
GEOFFREY BEN-NATHAN London/Jerusalem
The decision was made thousands of years ago that we would return, and here we are! It’s out of the realm of reality as mankind understands, at least according to human history. But every civilization has a history according to its own interpretation.
We are a phenomenon. Our survival was promised to us thousands of years ago, and we never lost sight of Jerusalem during crusades, inquisitions, pogroms and the Holocaust.
While our exile contributed to the well-being of our host countries, we were always accused of some kind of ulterior plan. The only plan we ever prayed for, however, and on a daily basis, was our return to Israel and Jerusalem.
We still give the nations of the world our best. Most foreigners I’m in contact with are in awe of us, realizing how much we contribute.
There is no place like Israel, and I’m so grateful I live here.
No society is perfect, but what’s going on here is a phenomenon.
ELISHEVA WEBERMAN JerusalemAdoption idea
In the past, there has been public debate regarding Filipino caretakers’ children born here who request Israeli citizenship.
Some politicians approve of the idea for the sake of the children.
But “Orphans left behind in the Philippines” (Comment & Features, June 5) might justify a fresh look at the issue.
Close to two million Filipino children are “abandoned and neglected,” according to a UN report. Even at the country’s few orphanages, conditions are less than optimal. Most of the children are “lost to crime, to prostitution, to neglect, and a lot of street families are growing.”
How about performing a good deed and adopting some of them? Here is an opportunity to save a generation of underprivileged children and replenish our underpopulated nation.
ROBERT DUBLIN Jerusalem Zigzagging...
Ilan Evyatar’s “Mr. Zigzag” (Observations, June 3) is one of the most insightful, not to mention hilarious, columns to have appeared in The Jerusalem Post for some time. I hope Mr. Evyatar writes many more pieces in the same style.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu zigzags because he is not sure of his government’s ability to withstand so many diverse pressures coming from everywhere.
Let us not talk of the pressures of US President Barack Obama, the United Nations, the Arab League, Hamas and Hezbollah.
Let us not talk about Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has done absolutely nothing for his people, and runs around the world and makes statements about his desire for a state. (He would go crazy if he were ever given territory to make a nation out of.) It is proportional representation in Israel that makes it virtually impossible for a government to function the way we would like. Perhaps it is time that Mr.
Strong really is strong, and Mr.
Brave really is brave, and they and stand up with Mr. Netanyahu to help him find a straight path.
Many years ago, I was told about this promising young man, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was devoted to the State of Israel.
He is Mr. Zigzag because of how the government of Israel functions.
TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem...and treading water
Many are the bizarre proposals made to promote peace in our region. Now we can add the Arab Peace Initiative, sponsored by Saudi Arabia. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken positively about it (“In surprise move, PM says he’s ready to negotiate based on Saudi peace initiative,” May 31).
Has no one noticed that many of the Arab countries that would be involved in such a plan no longer exist as fully functional entities? We need only mention Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. In addition, there are several more whose future existence is in question.
We are once more getting ready to tread water while true peace remains an illusion.
SIDNEY HANDEL Tel Aviv