August 12: What Darwish was and what we are

Darwish joined a terrorist organization and fought and defended its ideals. He was a poet who glorified terrorism.

letters to the editor (photo credit:)
letters to the editor
(photo credit: )
What Darwish was... Sir, - "Palestine national poet Darwish dies in Texas" (August 10) contained some misleading statements, such as "Darwish was born in a village near Haifa that was destroyed in the War of Independence. He has since lived in several Arab countries." The AP report then qualified this, telling us that Mahmoud Darwish did not leave immediately after the war, but "left the country in the early 1970s to study in the Soviet Union." Darwish's village was destroyed because its inhabitants fought against the newly declared State of Israel. Other villages whose inhabitants did not fight against Israel survived and prospered. Darwish went and joined a terrorist organization and fought and defended its ideals. He was a poet who glorified terrorism. He refused to accept the Oslo Accords, which called for accepting Israel and living in peace with it. AHARON GOLDBERG Hatzor Haglilit ...and what we are Sir, - You wrote in your editorial "A day of responsibility" (August 10) that the forced expulsion of the Jews of Gush Katif should not be included with the many catastrophes that occurred on Tisha Be'av. As one of the Gush Katif refugees, I say it is fitting to include us because we were not expelled by a foreign power but by a Jewish army, aided by Jewish police sent by a Jewish government. We were physically forced from our homes, watched Jewish-operated bulldozers destroy all we had built, and witnessed the burning of our beautiful synagogues by our Arab enemies. The result was the unrelenting rocket attacks in the south, and the Second Lebanon War in the north. The entire Jewish world was traumatized by these events. So how can you say the expulsion does not deserve to be commemorated on Tisha Be'av? RACHEL SAPERSTEIN Nitzan Exercise in hypocrisy Sir, - I was angered by "No more settlers will be allowed to attend parties at British Embassy, minister vows" (August 7). This from a country that sent its troops to die for its "rights" in the Falkland Islands, 1,000 miles from its shores; not to mention how long it exploited its far-flung empire. Can't it be made clear that this geographically tiny area close to our homes was captured in a war of self-defense? Perhaps the British would have preferred that the Arabs win the genocidal war they waged against us in 1967. No nation returns to the aggressors what they lost in their wars of aggression - except the Jews, of course! Judea and Samaria were never part of a Palestinian state, since no such entity ever existed. RAHEL FELDMAN Jerusalem Sir, - If it weren't so pernicious, it would be funny. Britain, whose sons sailed the seven seas in search of land belonging to others, grabbing it in the name of the king or queen for colonization and subduing the indigenous populations, has the nerve to call Jews building homes in their ancestral homeland "colonists." It seems that the building of thriving communities is an "obstacle to peace," but raining Kassam rockets down on innocent civilians in their homes, schools, cafes, buses and streets is not. Israel, in its foolish belief that making Gaza Judenrein would encourage our neighbors to live peacefully with us, has endured nothing but terror from the evacuated area. The only obstacle to peace is the unrelenting hatred of our Arab neighbors for the State of Israel and their continued refusal to accept its presence here in the Middle East. ELLA BERKOVITS Haifa Sir, - Is British Member of Parliament Crispin Blunt going to propose that all British Embassy receptions throughout the world be vetted to ensure that all invitees are "kosher" according to British government policy? That would be truly absurd. In China, there are Chinese groups invited to British Embassy receptions who actively support China's policy in Tibet - but that does not mean any weakening in Britain's opposition to China's policy in Tibet, or tacit approval of it. Similarly, I do not see how it is possible to deduce that by inviting a couple of settler leaders to a reception to mark the queen's birthday, there is a weakening in Britain's long-held policy that the settlements are contrary to international law and an obstacle to peace. What I find so hypocritical about Mr. Blunt's attack is that during the past year he has, in his official capacity as chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council, met with with members of Knesset including David Rotem and Alex Miller of Israeli Beitenu. The former advocates the expansion of settlements, while the latter actually lives in a settlement. Perhaps Mr. Blunt should propose barring himself from chairing such meetings! ZE'EV PORTNER London Sir, - As a British-Israeli citizen, I am at a loss to understand why this business matters. Britain has "lost the plot" on so many levels: While it has no problem with harboring would-be terrorists for fear of infringing their civil liberties, it has no qualms about pontificating to others on matters about which it has a very limited understanding and an extremely biased view. Tea anyone? RINA PRAGER Petah Tikva Honest 'ex-gay' Sir, - David Benkof's "'Ex-gay' isn't kosher" (August 11) was honest, courageous, well written and well argued. His plea for "a Torah-true organization for same-sex-attracted Jews who on their own seek help in following Judaism's guidelines for family and bedroom life" is long overdue. I know many guys here in Israel who would profit from such an association. I truly hope he will succeed, especially given his plans to make aliya next year. M. VAN THIJN Jerusalem Water wisdom Sir, - As the "Knesset gets down to brass tacks of water conservation" (July 22) there are simple ways to conserve water. I go to the beach daily and witness the huge amount of water wasted at the freshwater shower-foot wash located there. Adults have five-minute discussions while they stand under adjoining showers. Children attempt to make all the showers run simultaneously, creating rivulets, small lakes and moats for sand play. Teenagers hold water fights using the flow of the water. All this, within a short distance of the sea. Minimally, multilingual signs need to be posted reminding people not to waste water. Those who work on the beach - lifeguards, concessionaires, etc. - need to tell people to stop this waste of water. Optimally the showers should either be removed or fitted with a meter and coin-collection box. When a shower costs a shekel per minute, adults will cease conversing and be quick. ELLEN MINAKER Netanya Our mom, Georgie Sir, - My brother, sister and I were very moved that Judy Montagu mentioned our late mother, Georgie Arazi, the Post's letters editor for over a quarter of a century, in "The story behind 'Dear Sir,'" (July 30). Georgie was blessed with great wisdom and foresight. She was also the queen of sceptics and a master of cynicism. She would have guffawed at the idea that she would be remembered in the Post nearly 11 years after her death. We would naturally have concurred. For showing us otherwise, we thank you. MYRIAM ARAZI-GUY Mevaseret Zion