As Israel is the world’s 100th smallest country with a tiny population, it is good your April 14 headline, “Council advances planning for at least 228 new settler homes,” is on page 10, as those on the front page are continually intoned by world media and spread by those such as Peace Now around the globe.
The accompanying photo of nearby Tekoa shows barren hills.
Though billions of people are settled on earth, are any others besides Israelis derided for existing or that our “settlement activity is “a war crime under international law,” as so charged by our longtime peace partner Saeb Erekat? America idolizes those legends who “pioneered” it from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. Is its hero Davy Crockett so much more noble and heroic than our little horn-blowing King David? Or founder David Ben-Gurion? If so, why? Might this extensive coverage and questionable headline aid and abet our many enemies? Heaven forfend.
ESTER ZEITLIN Jerusalem Upside down
Where is Gershon Baskin’s “moral high ground”? (“The moral high ground and Zionism,” Encountering Peace, Comment and Features, April 14) In his plea for the two-state solution, he either knowingly, or out of abject ignorance, turns the history of UNGA Resolution 181, the Partition Plan, upside down, when he says: “The rejection of that decision by the United Nations...” That phrase is shocking in its inaccuracy, irresponsibility and immorality, for it absolves the guilty and condemns the innocent.
Anyone writing on this subject for as long as Baskin must know that the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 181 in that iconic tally heard around the world, on November 29, 1947, by a vote of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions.
The UN did not reject the decision, nor did the Jewish world.
The Arab world rejected it, and responded with seven armies attacking the infant Jewish state. The history of the entire Middle East would be different had their response been different.
Which is it, Mr. Baskin? Are you unaware of the history of Resolution 181, or have you deliberately and unethically inverted it to conform with your personal agenda? We await your answer.
JAN SOKOLOVSKY JerusalemImpossible to do
It bothers me and I hope that it will bother many more people that Isaac Herzog, leader of the Opposition Zionist Union Party, discloses his peace plans in Germany “Opposition leader presents his peace plan in Berlin,” April 13). I have grave doubts about the merits of a plan that separates Jerusalem. If anyone knows the geography of Jerusalem, one realizes how integrated most of the Arab villages are in the city. Every one of the Arab villages that lie in close proximity to Jewish residences cannot be separated because otherwise these Arab villages will become completely isolated.
It is easy to say separation, but it is virtually impossible to do so at this stage. Moreover, going to a foreign country to argue his plan does Israel a complete disservice. The countries of Europe and even the United States keep trying to achieve their dream of an Arab Palestine. Herzog is proposing just that and delivers a major weapon into the hands of countries that want to achieve this aim. Herzog should never argue his case in front of the nations that oppose Israel. He should be able to argue his case before the Israeli electorate alone.
TOBY WILLIG JerusalemCrisp cardboard
I was amused to read that – among other destinations – Israeli shmura matza was being shipped to Nigeria and the Congo (“Exports of matza,wine topped $48 million in 2015,” April 13). Of course it was just a fraction of the $12 million in exports of the stuff, but one wonders – aside from the local Chabad house – who is chowing down on some of the finest crisp cardboard Israel had to offer.
If only we shipped more Krembo, Bamba and Milky puddings around the globe, we might have more friends due to our “culinary ambassadors.”
Just a thought for the Foreign Ministry to take into consideration when trying to improve our standing in the world!
LINDA BRANSON JerusalemOn four legs
Your writer Daniel K. Eisenbud, in the photo caption “New Jerusalem residents” (April 13) stated that “Rotem, the eldest calf, now four weeks old, is already walking” – as if it takes giraffe calves weeks to learn to walk! In nature, giraffe calves are at risk from predators such as lions and hyenas. Giraffes would be extinct if their calves didn’t have the ability to run within a short time after birth.
“Eldest” is usually used to describe people who are members of the same family; since the article referred to calves from three different mothers, you should have used “oldest.”
ANNE HORENSTEIN Ra’anana Grossly misleading
The headline “How to lose friends and irritate people,” which comes with the subheadline “Moving to Israel was supposed to be about making friends” was grossly misleading (Comment and Features, April 13). I and others thought the article was going to be about how unwelcoming Israelis are to new olim. Quite the opposite, it told about how friends and colleagues in the UK reacted very negatively to the author’s decision to make aliya – insulting him in person and on the Internet.
Please make your headlines more accurately reflect the nature of the articles.
NANCY MILGRAM NahariyaMisread handwriting
While David Newman is correct in pointing out the obsolescence of the term “Middle East,” he falls short in his attempt at a meta-analysis of what is happening in our region, and where Israel fits into the “shatterbelt” picture that he describes. (“Israel between East and West,” Borderline Views, Comment and Features, April 12) In today’s world, geographic contiguousness is hardly the factor it once was. And, for that matter, perceiving Israel as an outpost of Europe is equally anachronistic.
Both Israel’s immediate neighbors and the European continent are in terminal decline. The neighboring Muslim tribes – for the most part can hardly be called nations or countries. As oil becomes increasingly unimportant, the desert sands will once again blow over the endless flow of Muslim vs Muslim blood.
Europe, too, is tottering on the brink of disintegration, having lost its Christian spiritual anchor and rejected the driving energies of unique national identities and cultures. As such, it is sinking in a quagmire of post-modern, mutli-culti ennui that renders it terminally vulnerable to the barbarians who have long since passed the gate.
The big news for the future is not in geographic connectivity, but rather in civilizational affinity.
From China at the Eastern end to Israel at the Western end, ancient civilizations that had seemed dormant if not dead for centuries are roaring back to life at a velocity so extreme that we have yet to take stock of it.
Hence, any attempt to pigeonhole Israel into either the Levant or Western Europe is not only to do ourselves an injustice, but to misread the handwriting on the wall.
JJ GROSS Jerusalem