Letters to the Editor: April 13, 2015

Israel has no responsibility toward resolving humanitarian problems arising from a tribal Arab/Muslim conflict.

April 12, 2015 21:38
Residents queue up to receive humanitarian aid at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk

Residents queue up to receive humanitarian aid at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The wrong thing

Gershon Baskin’s naivety in urging us to do the “right thing” by allowing Palestinian refugees under attack in Syria’s Yarmouk camp to enter the West Bank (“We have the chance to do the right thing in Yarmouk,” Encountering Peace, April 9) is as bad as US President Barack Obama’s naivety in believing that Iran has peaceful nuclear objectives. Both tend toward Israel’s destruction.

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Israel has no responsibility toward resolving humanitarian problems arising from a tribal Arab/Muslim conflict. Acceptance of Baskin’s proposal, like his intervention in the prisoner exchange for captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, would only increase the security risks emanating from the West Bank.

Haifa/Hove UK

Gershon Baskin advocates allowing, unconditionally, the entrance of 18,000 Palestinians from the Yarmouk refugee camp to the West Bank.

He proposes that the Israeli government make an immediate public announcement to this effect in expectation that the UN and other international actors would enable the move. He also opines: “This gesture on Israel’s part would be so valued and appreciated regionally and internationally. There is so much to gain from it in trying to build a new relationship with the Palestinian people.”

In my opinion, Mr. Baskin is showing a misunderstanding of the way our enemies think.

Assuming that such a rescue operation could be successfully achieved, it would be studiously ignored or labeled political opportunism by our neighbors and their foreign supporters who oppose Jewish nationalism.

I am in agreement with Baskin that these people should be allowed sanctuary in the West Bank simply because they are human beings caught in an impossible situation. But I do not have any expectations of neighborliness or less hostility arising from this act.

Sde Nitzan

Slavish allegiance

With regard to “Bibi on the outside looking in” (Washington Watch, April 9), Douglas Bloomfield’s slavish allegiance to the Democratic Party, above all common sense, and his homage to America’s first black president despite his abject failures in foreign policy, know no bounds.

Having failed to persuade Israel that Benjamin Netanyahu was not the best choice for prime minister, he now wants to excoriate him for his failure to influence US President Barack Obama’s drive to make Iran a threshold nuclear power.

In his effort to do so, Bloomfield quotes former State Department official Dennis Ross, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, Israeli defense analyst Amir Oren and others – none of whom have had a positive effect on the radical Muslim world despite their constant meddling.

He fails to note that former US secretaries of state George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, as well as almost every knowledgeable military expert and sensible political pundit, have criticized the senselessness of the Obama approach.

The column is so rife with foolishness that it is difficult to focus on just one of its failures of logic.

But I would like to try.

Bloomfield quotes John Kerry, the current, feckless secretary of state: “Simply demanding that Iran capitulate is not a policy.”

Really? I seem to remember that the world had a problem with Germany and Japan some time back, and demanded unconditional surrender. Both were evil regimes that desired to dominate the rest of the world.

Thank God Obama and Kerry were not around then to make nice.


Worrying others

With regard to “Worried reader” (Letters, April 7), James Adler asserts that the Likud’s victory resulted from “right-voting settlers” who have “risen to a perhaps unbeatable 750,000.” The numbers, though, tell a very different story.

Only 160,000 voters turned out in the “West Bank.” More importantly, the Likud captured eight of Israel’s 10 largest cities.

Despite the Zionist Union’s emphasis on a social agenda, the Likud won overwhelmingly in many middle- and lower-middle- class towns. The Zionist Union was strongest in the country’s smaller number of wealthy towns, including 53 percent in tony Kfar Shmaryahu.

Adler castigates Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his comment about Arabs “voting in droves.” While the warning was poorly expressed, it was nothing more than a call to his supporters to offset a voting bloc that was certain to go to the opposing side en masse. For example, more than 92% of Nazareth voters opted for a single party, the Joint List. Apparently, your reader does not object to bloc voting so long as the bloc votes his preference.

Despite Adler’s worries about an “unbeatable” settler bloc, the Likud took just 23% of the total vote, just 5% more than the Zionist Union. It was as much a failure by the latter to state its message convincingly as it was a victory for the former.

Adler also rails against Israel’s “occupation over a non-voting population,” conveniently forgetting that the Palestinian population is “non-voting” because the Palestinian Authority has refused to call elections for over half a decade. He also ignores one factor that might have caused those on the fence to vote for the Likud: They were offended by the many people – e.g., human rights “experts,” a US president and even a certain Massachusetts letter writer – who accuse Israel of racism and offer facile solutions to critical security challenges.

Zichron Ya’acov

Is there some sort of love affair going on between the letters editor and a certain left-wing American whose letters are frequently published? I refer to reader James Adler, who, while sitting comfortably in his cozy front room in the settlement of Cambridge, Massachusetts, invariably complains about the “sins” of Israeli right-wingers such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, other Likud politicians and those who vote for them.

Adler constantly bashes Israel for building “settlements” and sending more and more “settlers” to “occupy” what he calls “another people’s land.” But he’s both hypocritical and mendacious – hypocritical because he himself is a settler sitting comfortably in another people’s land, and mendacious because he denies the right of Israelis to live in any part of their God-given homeland.

It bewilders me that he doesn’t know, or pretends not to know, of the history whereby European settlers conquered America while massacring millions of its native tribes and then imprisoned survivors in sordid camps called reservations, where many still remain as second-class citizens. If that isn’t “apartheid,” what is? For some reason, Adler cannot admit that if anyone is a “settler” in Israel or Judea and Samaria, it is the Arabs.

Kiryat Ono

Can anyone tell me why I, a loyal reader of The Jerusalem Post and one who has had a subscription for many years, must be subjected to regular letters from one James Adler? He had the gall to end his most recent letter by saying “I care deeply for Israel” but then went on with one, long “however.”

Any chance of giving others a chance to appear instead? We’ve certainly heard enough from him.


The Letters Editor responds: I strive for balance in the letters section wherever possible. If the discourse is civil, within the realm of the logical and possible, and somewhere between “Kill the Jews” and “Kill the Arabs,” I will publish the letter.

CORRECTION The suggested donation for attending a screening of Prisoner of Paradise at Mizmor L’David in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood at 8 p.m. on Monday, April 13, is NIS 20, and not as stated in “Profiles in Courage” in the Capital Calendar section of the April 9 In Jerusalem supplement. The Editor regrets the error.

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