August 22: Pre-emptive is best

If we knew several days earlier, why didn’t we kill the PRC leadership before it killed its Israeli victims?

August 23, 2011 11:43

letters. (photo credit: JP)


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Pre-emptive is best

Sir, – The front page of August 19’s Jerusalem Post left me a bit puzzled. Yaakov Katz reports Israel knew several days earlier that the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) had planned an attack (“IDF prepared for a different attack,” Analysis). Then an article co-written by Katz (“Israel kills PRC leadership in Gaza”) reports that Israel responded “swiftly.”

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If we knew several days earlier, why didn’t we kill the PRC leadership before it killed its Israeli victims? Full disclosure: I am not puzzled at all. Our leaders know only how to react, not act. They are apologetic (Defense Minister Barak), fearful (Barak), indecisive (Prime Minister Netanyahu) and very, very uncreative.

My real puzzlement: Why I voted as I did last time.


Sir, – Israel’s reactive response is sad, bad and totally unnecessary.

Knowing all it did about the PRC, had Israel struck before the Eilat-area attack there would likely not have been more deaths and mourning by Israelis.

Our governments over the years have been reactive capitulators, for which Israeli citizens always pay the price.


Sir, – Where is our army? Once the most admired in the world, it now cowers behind Peace Now and Kadima. It’s hard to imagine that our government can’t decide how to respond to more dead Jews – which hasn’t stopped since Operation Cast Lead failed to complete its mission.

Neveh Ilan

Time to review

Sir, – regarding “MDA: Blood shortage intensified by attacks” (August 19), there is no doubt that giving blood is a vital contribution to society, especially in Israel. However, health authority regulations here prevent a sizable segment of our population from taking part.

Any person who spent six months or more in Britain between 1980 and 1996 may not give blood. The reason is the fear of exposure to the human variant of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), or mad cow disease. This means that most of my family – I, my wife and two of my children – are ineligible to give blood. I am sure that this applies to a great many families in Israel.

I believe that in some other countries the rule has been rescinded. I gave blood on a regular basis until the rule came into force and would like to do so again. I lack the medical or scientific knowledge required to express an opinion, but it seems to me that in view of the apparently dire shortage of blood in the blood bank, the relevant authorities should be encouraged to review the ruling.

Beit Shemesh

Annex already!

Sir, – While in agreement with Martin Sherman (“Come September...,” Into the Fray, August 19), I think we should threaten to annex the Jordan Valley. At the same time we should stop referring to Judea and Samaria as the West Bank and refer to Jordan as the East Bank. This will give our version of historical perspective.

Shadmot Mehola

Sir, – Martin Sherman’s proposed due-bill to the Palestinian Authority for its threatened UN push for unilateral independence was absent its most important item – that being the full extension of Israeli law to Area C of Judea and Samaria. In fact, such a step should long ago have been taken.

Area C, where Israel exercises full civil and military authority, is home for virtually all of the 330,000 Jews living beyond the Green Line. Constituting 59 percent of the so-called West Bank, its population is more than 90% Jewish.

Aside from the fact that the continued treatment of 5% of Israel’s population as second-class citizens is unconscionable, taking Area C off the table would be the clearest possible message to Abbas & Co. – that their illusions of displacing us are at an end.


Point a finger

Sir, — Let’s talk about real incitement. MKs Ahmed Tibi and Mohammad Barakei are the last ones entitled to give Glenn Beck a dressing down (“Glenn Beck rally could spark violence, warn Arab MKs,” August 18).

Their remarks are themselves provocative and reckless. Should there turn out to be disturbances, it is Tibi’s and Barakei’s roles that must be investigated.

Both have a checkered and protracted history of some of the most vile incitement to violence imaginable. Going back to August 2000, police had to bar all visitors from the Temple Mount after Tibi led a crowd chanting “With blood and fire we will redeem Palestine.” Less than a year later – on Tisha Be’av, of all days – Tibi brought his minions to the Temple Mount to rain hundreds of rocks on Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall below. Not to be outdone, in September 2001 Barakei inflamed anti-government demonstrators with a call to “break the arms and legs” of Israeli police officers.

It is simply incredible how these irresponsible figures, with their life-threatening tirades, can have the temerity to point a finger at Beck.

The writer is director of the Israel Office of the Zionist Organization of America

Get it right

Sir, – “The boring Jewish state?” (Terra Incognita, August 17) selectively chooses but a few of the many groups that we highlight on New Israel Fund study tour programs, and while it is always good to get free publicity advertising NIF study tours, publicity is most appreciated when it correctly represents our program.

Our study tours mainly include visits with Jewish Israelis. We regularly meet with Israeli members of Knesset representing parties ranging from Likud to Meretz. We have several times been to the settlement of Ofra, where we have met with settlers. We have visited Sderot to hear from residents about life in that beleaguered community. We have met with settlers from Gaza who continue to struggle with their displacement due to Israel’s disengagement.

We meet with Ethiopian immigrants who are working to claim their place in Israeli society. We often meet with immigrants involved in the Jewish renewal movement within the Russian community. We meet with Jewish environmentalists who are challenged to call attention to environmental needs in Israel in the face of other existential threats so prominent on the national agenda. We meet with Mizrahi Jews, working on a wide range of issues. We meet with Jewish feminists working to fight violence against women and generally improve the status of women in Israel.

We are currently planning a February 2012 study tour. As always, we welcome participants interested in learning about the breadth and depth of Israeli society, about Israel beyond the headlines of the moment.

The writer is associate director of NIF

What’s in a name?

Sir, – I am seeking the origins of my last name, which was probably Anglicized by an ancestor.

I am 65 years old and the family that raised me was very light on details. However, a sister of mine thinks it originated in Iraq.

I can be reached at Unit 25, 89a Nicholls Court, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia 7310, or via

Thank you.

Devonport, Tasmania

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