I thought that Angela Merkel might be a lonely voice of reason in the European Union, but it seems that she too has fallen prey to the European penchant for trying to beat the world into an arbitrary shape of its choosing (“Merkel backs EU policy of labeling settlement products,” December 8).
The European powers lopped off most of the former Palestine and turned it over to a Saudi aristocrat, creating the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. A glance at the map of the remaining area makes it obvious that there isn’t enough room for two viable independent states. That’s why most of the local population object to the idea.
Determined to pummel the facts into a form that fits their preconceived view, the Europeans refuse to understand the clear antipathy of both sides for their solution.
The Arabs can’t be objecting to what the European political elite knows is good for them, so the problem must be that they detect a lack of enthusiasm in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And since Netanyahu believes that Israel couldn’t survive being confined to an even tinier enclave than its current territory surrounded by people determined to destroy it, he must be a war-monger.
Please, somebody, sit down with a calculator and measure the areas involved, with or without “settlements.”
Admit that there’s no way to divide it, and start thinking of other solutions on the order of dividing the citizenship of the populations between Israel and Jordan without creating new borders.
NAOMI SANDLER JerusalemMisplaced concern
John Kerry should not worry about Israel’s being a democratic state (“PM responds to Kerry: Israel won’t be bi-national state,” December 7). The country is just that, and offers peaceful Arabs rights and work. Americans would not tolerate members of Congress who would speak about destroying the country, but the Knesset includes Muslims who do harbor this desire.
The present US administration bears some of the responsibility for the latest Arab terror against Israel by implying that there is equivalence between the victims and the perpetrators of violence.
The announcement that if Israel did not acquiesce to the suicidal demands of the Obama administration there would be isolation and more terrorism was an invitation to the murders that followed.
The US should be supportive of the only democracy in a chaotic region infested with radicalism.
CHANA GIVON Jerusalem
Thank you for featuring Carolyn Glick’s answers to John Kerry (“Answering John Kerry,” December 8). Kerry employs terminology and scare tactics that don’t hold up to intelligent scrutiny, and Glick explains why. It behooves all thinking citizens to familiarize themselves with her cogent response, and, if possible, to purchase her book, The Israel Solution: A One- State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, where she further elaborates on them.
We don’t need the entire Judea, Samaria and Benjamin areas and swaths of Jerusalem to become additional enclaves of radical Islam.
If the EU and much of the “free” world chooses to blackball us, they will do so regardless of our attempts to appease them with suicidal gestures. Our acting to assert our rights will likely engender more respect than kowtowing to those who choose to threaten us with isolationism and dire unrealistic consequences.
YOCHEVED MIRIAM ZEMEL Givat Ze’ev
Demographics, rather than politics, is at the heart of Israel’s most enduring problems and potential solutions. Israel is at a crossroads in terms of finding a resolution for its ongoing struggle with the Palestinian people. Various proposed solutions: a two-state solution, a onestate solution, and hybrids have been endlessly debated, and are all untenable because of demographics.
Neither Caroline Glick’s call for a one-state solution, nor John Kerry’s insistence on a two-state solution have any momentum because in their present forms they are unworkable.
However, the status quo, with Israel staying in control of a West Bank lacking statehood, is also unstable and not a model for longterm peace or growth. Demographics, however, can be used creatively by Israel to move forward in a manner that is free of awkward, unworkable theories.
An overwhelming Jewish population can simply absorb the West Bank politically, culturally and economically in the same manner that Texas and California eventually became part of the US. The rapid growth of a nationalistic Israeli community through aggressive means that combine government and philanthropic assistance and cultural and sociological change, can be achieved by means of subsidies and financial incentives involving housing, schooling, and day care, together with active encouragement of Jewish immigration in a manner that affirmatively seeks to rapidly increase Israel’s Jewish population.
If Israel can substantially increase its population, it can also safely absorb the West Bank and avoid much of the stigma that would result if it didn’t give equal rights to its largely increased Palestinian population.
Only such a policy – in an age where Middle East extremist realities clash with worldwide egalitarianism – can work in the long term.
While Israel will certainly be criticized for any creative solution it brings, this is the least objectionable option to an otherwise impossible problem.
RON WEISS St. James, New YorkExercise is best
At the risk of blowing my own trumpet (or tempting fate), I was delighted to read Judy Siegel’s story (“Study shows exercise cuts elderly anxiety,” December 7). I am living proof of a lifestyle exercise regime that has been incredibly beneficial both mentally and physically to myself and all those ladies aged 60 and over attending my classes. I’m 79 years old, “as fit as a fiddle”, extremely flexible, with normal blood pressure, invariably optimistic, and have never suffered a bout of flu or even common or garden cold for more than 20 years. My body shape has not altered since the age of 16. So, revitalize yourselves my fellow compatriots, no time like the present.
GISH TRUMAN ROBBINS PardesiyaSmoking gun
I was not surprised to read the article about smoking (“Smoking slows broken bones from healing,” December 8). What is disturbing is that smokers who cost the health system in Israel substantially more than we non-smokers pay the same monthly fees from our plans.
It is about time that smokers pay an additional fee for their unhealthy habit and reduce the cost for healthier non-smokers.
Additionally, it would be great to enforce the smoking rules and hand out some fines.
JOEL HANDELMAN Tel AvivQueen’s English
It did not take me long to realize after I made aliya from London nine years ago, that The Jerusalem Post was published in a version of English that catered primarily for those who originated in the good ole’ USA, and that we Brits just needed to bite on the bullet. Thus it was with some amusement that I read Meir Smullen’s letter (“Ch-ch-ch-changes,” December 8) advocating the universal employment of ‘ch’ in words such as Hanukka, Pessah and hagim.
Clearly, Mr. Smullen is quite unaware that a significant minority of Francophones here would exchange the Shabbat greeting ‘Chabbat Chalom.
STANLEY COHEN Jerusalem CORRECT ION
Due to an editing error, Ramy Aziz’s oped (“Pope Tawadaros’s visit to Jerusalem,” December 8) stated former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat spoke to the Knesset in 1967. He spoke to the Knesset in 1977.