Fighting ISIS et al
Sir, – With regard to “Kerry opposes Iran role in anti-Islamic State coalition” (September 14), ISIS recruits volunteers from all over, shoving the ugliest side of extreme Islam into the face of the whole world. Is it not time the civilized nations, spearheaded by America and England, train a standing army of volunteers based on the old French Foreign Legion? These would be the “boots on the ground” solution that everyone knows is the only way to destroy savages and, by extension, to take over failed states where the oppressed are powerless and have no voice.
If not now, when?
DAVID ROSE Haifa
Sir, – Today’s buzz is the world’s awakening to the threat of Islamic forces. Mazal tov! What have we been saying and experiencing for all these years? The world needs to wake up and understand what we are heading for. Whatever those among the enemy call themselves – ISIS, ISIL, Hamas, Hezbollah – they want to do away with everyone who is unlike them. We are headed for a world war, not an effort that 600 troops, several planes or a few conferences will help.
Now is the time to recall what Martin Niemöller said about the Nazis: First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.
Let us all pray and apply appropriate action.
Sir, – Many thanks to Lela Gilbert for the very focused article concerning the aims of messianic Muslim organizations (“The meaning of black flags over Jerusalem,” Comment & Features, September 14).
The difference between the Muslims’ intentions of coming to Jerusalem and the intentions of the people of Israel who actually come is immense. For the Muslims it is all human willpower and effort, whereas Israel is lifted, even transported, here through the word of God and His will: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel; as yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof when I shall bring again their captivity” (Jeremiah 31:23).
The supreme irony is that the Muslims could also “come” to Jerusalem if they truly came in peace. If they considered well the verses of their Koran concerning the matter of Israel’s resettlement in its covenantal land, they would recognize the people of Israel as the caretakers of this renewed sanctuary for all men. The great bonus would be that in recognizing Israel’s right, from the heart, they would immediately participate – and incidentally bring peace among themselves.
With the return of the people of Israel to their land, the days of replacement theology, of “conquering” the world for religion by gentile powers through human force, are over. How much better to recognize this than to expend such effort on useless cruelty for vanity’s sake.
JerusalemUs or them
Sir, – Barry Leff laments the hardships experienced by the Arabs of Hebron (“A rare visit to Hebron,” Observations, September 12). Their shops are closed so income is affected; homes over shuttered stores are abandoned because rooftop access is so difficult.
He brings two possible solutions for this situation. One is for the Arabs to be given access to the closed streets, while security would be the burden of the Jewish residents, I suppose as an alternative to the IDF. The other is “to order the Jews to leave – to make a strategic withdrawal until peaceful coexistence becomes possible.”
If I may, I would like to offer two other possible solutions.
One would be for the Arabs of Hebron to begin to live as civilized, peaceful residents thereby negating the need for alternative security measures. If that is not an option, another would be to order the Arabs to leave until peaceful coexistence is possible.
As Leff himself writes, Hebron is part of our heritage and history; he even allows for the fact that some of the land where Jews live today was once Jewish land.
So why should it be we who have to leave? If it is only by virtue of their presence that the town’s Jewish community is a problem, what would he say to those who argue the same about our presence in the rest of the land? BOB YERMUS Jerusalem Sir, – Having read Barry Leff’s article on Hebron, I feel very sad.
To suggest that Hebron be judenrein fits very well into Natan Sharansky’s explanation of classic, modern-day anti-Semitism.
The first “D” is double standard.
To play the numbers game is easy. The Arabs have millions of dunams all over the world, so let them go there and leave Hebron to its only true owners.
The second “D” is to dehumanize.
Baruch Goldstein “murdered 29 Palestinians” while when most of the Arab population rose up against the city’s innocent Jewish population in 1929 “67 Jews died.” We “die” while being butchered, but a Jew commits “murder.” There is a difference between dying and murdering.
The third “D” is to delegitimize.
It is the Arab population that has been trying to murder the Jewish people without provocation; to suggest otherwise can only come from someone on a rare visit who does not understand the facts on the ground. I have been visiting Hebron every month for over 20 years and know a different picture.
A rabbi should know that there is only one rightful owner of Hebron, and that is us. We bought the land.
Ra’ananaMaking a mistake...
Sir, – With regard to “The fatal flaws of the Schabas Inquiry” (Observations, September 12), the government of Israel has made a mistake in choosing not to cooperate with the commission investigating the recent fighting in Gaza.
In June 2013, during a meeting in London where he referred to the investigation undertaken by the Goldstone Commission, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor explained that the majority of states in the UN were not anti-Israel. When the Goldstein Commission announced its findings, it was expected that a minority report would be made by Israel, giving its side. When no counterargument was produced, the conclusion was reached that Israel had no defense and the accusations must have been true.
Prosor was right. Why make the same mistake again?
London...on the ground, too
Sir, – According to Hamas, the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip is not up for discussion. The group is pressing ahead with its work on new tunnels with enthusiasm. With the predictable criticism of the way Israel conducted the summer’s fighting, the “window of opportunity” to finish the job has closed.
When (not “if”) Hamas restarts after the lull in the fighting, we will know the price for each Israeli fatality: If the lull lasts for 72 days, the price of that lull will have been one death for each day.
The name of the son-in-law cited in “19 weddings and a refugee crisis” (September 15) is Yaakov Virin, not Yaakov Weiderman