January 2: Absurd demand

It is important to note that example Gisha's examples are far from unique.

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January 1, 2015 21:00
3 minute read.
Letters

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Absurd demand

Sir, – Yonah Jeremy Bob’s “Concrete facts about Gaza” (Special Report, December 31) analyzes and criticizes the claims of Gisha, a political advocacy NGO, regarding oversight of construction material transfers to Gaza.

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It is important to note that this example is far from unique. The record demonstrates that Gisha has consistently downplayed legitimate security threats emanating from Gaza since the 2007 Hamas takeover, in particular following this past summer’s conflict.

Its demand that Israel and the international community reduce oversight and allow Hamas unhindered access to cement, based on the claim that tunnels could be built with other materials, is absurd. The real question, answered in the affirmative by Gisha, is whether Hamas and other terror groups are commandeering cement, building materials and other humanitarian aid.

Gisha’s European donors, including the European Union, the “Secretariat” (joint funding of Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland) and Oxfam GB, are enablers in promoting these politically motivated campaigns. If followed, its recommendations would reduce the supervision of humanitarian projects in Gaza and contribute to terror capabilities.

GERALD M. STEINBERG Jerusalem

The writer is president of NGO Monitor.

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Credit where due

Sir, – Not to detract from the message of “Engaging Iran” (Editorial, December 31), that international voices need to be raised on behalf of Iranian human rights activists in Iranian jails, it is jarring that credit for the release of Soviet Jewry and dissolution of the Soviet empire is given only to American Jewry and the US government.

Although not as great in number as the Jewish population in the US, British Jewry nonetheless contributed in no small measure to the pressure on the Soviet Union to permit Jews to emigrate, and was indebted to the government headed by Margaret Thatcher.

Unlike the US, the UK stayed on speaking terms with the Soviet Union. Consequently, activists in the UK were literally able to confront, face to face, visitors from the USSR, such as Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and Soviet trade delegations.

American Jewish activists could never score on that.

LEILA CUMBER London

Real hypocrisy

Sir, – In “Critics blast PM over impending closure of Channel 10” (December 30), you quote Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog as saying: “Netanyahu is working on the Channel 10 issue with ulterior motives. In order for the public to be able to change the channel, we must change the tyrant trying with all his might to hurt Israel’s media and the public’s right to know.”

Somehow, I don’t recall some of these same politicians voting against the “Israel Hayom Bill,” where millions in subsidies have not been required to keep the “public’s right to know” alive.

The hypocrisy of those in the political arena knows no bounds.

FRED EHRMAN New York

Lonely voice

Sir, – In “Is Israel stealing private Palestinian land?” (Comment & Features, December 28), Moshe Dann writes: “Inexplicably, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to allow the government to discuss the Levy Commission’s report.”

What is equally, if not more, inexplicable to me is that one reads or hears virtually nothing about any kind of pressure on the prime minister from the public or members of the Likud to have this important report discussed – and ultimately adopted. Not only would such action provide Israel with an effective legal tool to deal equitably with the question of land ownership, it would, after many decades of dire neglect of the subject, give the government and its representatives abroad the necessary legal-historical ammunition to debunk the false and constantly repeated accusation that settlements in the territories are illegal.

Kudos to Dr. Dann for having raised this subject.

Unfortunately, his remains a voice in the wilderness.

MOSHE AUMANN Jerusalem

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