Just doing its job
Your article “On Macedonia border, Syrian migrants hope for open door” (May 1) describes the tragic situation and conditions where Syrian and other migrants are located on the border between Greece and Macedonia.
Your judgment to describe the use of force by Macedonia as “brute force” is not right.
The primary duty of our defense forces is to prevent illegal border crossings. In order to do so, our police are obliged to use force in a manner similar to any other defense force. I imagine that the IDF would react in the same way if faced with hundreds of illegal migrants looking to cross into Israel.
Since January 2015, over 800,000 migrants coming not only from Syria, but also from Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries, have transited Macedonia on their way to Germany.
We provide all possible support to the migrants and their families, such as shelter, food, water, clothes and sanitary products. At the southern entry point along the border with Greece, and at the northern exit point along the border with Serbia, special medial stations were built to meet their health needs.
The migrant crisis is one of the biggest humanitarian disasters to affect Europe since World War II.
The decision to close the Balkan route and establish a legal framework for migrants to enter EU countries was made in Brussels and negotiated with Turkey.
VLADIMIR LAZAREVIK Skopje Weekend wisdom
Reader Eve Halwani (“Days of the week, Letters, May 2) suggests that Israel consider making Friday the “other weekend day” as opposed to Sunday. Her reasoning is that if Israel is “trying to calm the emotions among its Muslim citizens,” then in deference to them, it would be a good move to choose Friday over Sunday.
This idea smacks of conciliation to fear and genuflection to political correctness. If that same logic were applied in the US, which also wishes to calm the emotions among its Muslim citizens, I believe Ms. Halwani should first suggest to her state legislature that it be the trailblazer and change California’s Saturday- Sunday weekend to Friday- Saturday.
ZE’EV M. SHANDALOV Ma’aleh Adumim Peace in our time
Daniel K. Eisenbud (“The Temple Mount: Radical Islam’s twisted trump card in their holy war against Israel,” April 28) posits a false premise: that if Israel had not given Judaism’s holiest site back to the Jordanian Wakf, “the war would have never ended, and countless more Muslim soldiers would have attempted to annihilate the people of Israel.” Furthermore, says Eisenbud, this logic “still holds true.”
Actually, we trounced Jordan soundly and there was no reason to give it anything at all.
We mortified them with that win, and they were thoroughly cowed. This “gesture of peace” was Moshe Dayan showing what a generous fellow he was.
Dayan’s gesture betrayed ignorance of what the Temple Mount means to the Jewish people. He wasn’t knowledgeable about Judaism. He wrongly interpreted the prohibition by many rabbis to ascend to the Mount to mean it was a place of historic, rather than religious, significance. He didn’t know that a place could be so holy that some people would not dare tread there.
It is also widely thought that Dayan felt he could be magnanimous, especially since the Muslims had an actual mosque on the site. It was a huge mistake, a catastrophe, then and now.
What Dayan did was empower the Arabs and make them see us as weak and unworthy of respect. They see themselves as the winners and keepers of the spoils. They see Islam as reigning supreme over Jerusalem.
They respect only a show of strength. In ceding the Mount, Dayan – and by extension, all of Israel – appeared weak, a laughingstock.
The way to show who’s boss is to say loudly and clearly: This is ours and we will pray and do as we wish on the Temple Mount, our holy site, up to and including the right not to tread or pray there if we do not desire to do so. The lesson in all this is that only by asserting ourselves will there be peace in our time.
VARDA EPSTEIN Efrat It’s about religion
In “A very simple conflict” (Into the Fray, April 28), Martin Sherman quotes Yitzhak Rabin: “The reason [for the Arab-Israeli] conflict was not a conflict over territorial claims. The reason was, and remains, the fact that a free Jewish state sits on territory at all.” But in this ongoing dispute, the primary issue is a strong ideology that forms part of Islam’s pillars of faith: dar al Islam (the term appears in the Koran as a name for paradise) and dar al harb (house of war).
Muslim scholars maintain that the labeling of a country or place as being a part of dar al Islam revolves around the question of religious security. It refers too, obviously, to those countries where Muslims can practice their religion freely.
Non-Islamic societies are described by Muslims as dar al harb, emphasizing aspirations to conquer them by means of jihad, a necessary and permanent state of war that can end only when the entire world submits to Islam. Accordingly, any territory where Islam once held domain or a mere presence (e.g., Israel, Spain) will revert back to Islam through jihad, and thus should be a target for jihad.
The ideology of using jihad appears to be the root cause of the ongoing hatred toward Israel.
The world, as well as all Israelis, should recognize that the struggle between Islam and the State of Israel is fundamentally a religious struggle.
NATY TOBIAS Ra’anana Harmful alliance
In addition to Melanie Phillips’s cogent and well founded reasons to support Brexit, shorthand for Britain leaving the European Union (“Brexit and the Jewish question,” As I See It, April 28), I have another.
Having just gone on a tour with Regavim, the non-profit whose goal it is to ensure the responsible, legal and environmentally friendly use of Israeli national lands, I discovered another abuse by the EU. I personally witnessed illegal building projects undertaken by the EU on Israeli state land. The European sponsors have pasted their insignias and flags blatantly on structures they have provided for illegal Palestinian squatters.
While the courts have deemed these structures illegal, they haven’t sufficiently enforced the regulations. The EU is not only undermining the European nations it is pledged to represent, but illegally trying to take over our land. Once the funding is removed, these illegal outposts will disappear since they are in need of constant upkeep and support.
It is incumbent on all who care about the State of Israel to encourage their British brothers to exit from this harmful alliance.
YOCHEVED MIRIAM ZEMEL Givat Ze’evPaying the price
On April 25, you ran an article citing collaboration on cancer research between the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and New York University’s Langone Medical Center, including substantial funding. On the same page, it was noted that the union of graduate students at NYU had voted to back Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activities against Israel (“NYU union okays BDS resolution”).
I expect that Technion officials and the Israeli government will see that none of these graduate students work with or benefit from the cancer research program.
ZVI FINK Modi’in The writer is an NYU alumnus.