Sir, – I strongly support the decision by the Israeli
government (“Israel responds to PA upgrade with plans for 3,000 housing units in
West Bank settlements, east J’lem,” December 2).
The non-member observer
status the Palestinians obtained was a purely technical upgrade, and in no way
established a Palestinian State. Just as the State of Israel was not actually
founded by General Assembly Resolution 181, which was the partition plan of
November 29, 1947, so Palestine was not established last week. The State of
Israel was declared by David Ben-Gurion on May 14, 1948, and its sovereignty was
recognized then by a series of individual member states before it was admitted
to the UN.
In order to be recognized as sovereign, a state must satisfy
1. Does it control it own territory? In the case of “Palestine,”
the answer is a resounding no.
Forty percent of the territory of Arab
Palestine is controlled by Hamas in Gaza, and the government in Ramallah has no
control there. Also, the PA controls only the seven cities of the West Bank
(Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, Jericho, Jenin, Tulkarm and Hebron). Israel
controls the surrounding countryside, having given up the cities under the terms
of the Oslo Accords (Area A). It stopped further withdrawals when Arafat
unleashed the terrorism of the second intifada.
2. Does the putative
state have an infrastructure of government and economic independence? The answer
once again is no.
“Palestine” exists only as a name. It has inadequate
organized infrastructure and is dependent entirely on international aid, much of
which is routinely stolen.
Does the international community, including
the US, which voted against the Palestinian resolution, expect that Israel will
accept a fait accompli
and do nothing after this unilateral maneuver? While the
move of the PA resulted in a virtual change, that decided by Israel will result
in a significant change on the ground – the E1 site will separate Judea from
Samaria and ensure that there cannot be a contiguous Palestinian
Let this be a lesson to the Palestinians that Israel holds many
cards, and if they act against Israel’s interests they will suffer
Sir, – I do not understand why, just
because you lose a vote at the United Nations, you have to build more
You hurt the United States’s efforts for peace more than
anything else – and we voted with you! You just love to slap us in the face (but
still take our money).
I believe in the two-state solution and Israel’s
right to live in peace, but for God’s sake help us find a peaceful solution!
Sir, – Bravo! We scored a brilliant
shot in the war of flowery announcements. Venting is good therapy. Never mind
that it will take years to make these pronunciamentos facts on the
Where is Abba Eban when you need his phrase about never missing
an opportunity? DAVID SCHOLEM
Sir, – Israel’s UN ambassador, Ron
Prosor, asks if Palestine is ready to be a state. Freedom and statehood are
deemed a natural and divine right – for the Jews and all peoples – overdue more
than ever after dispersion, colonialism or occupation.
As if to prove the
need for the vote, the Post now reports on the 3,000 new housing units the
Israeli government has approved for east Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Right doesn’t seem to understand that only nine countries out of 192 voted
against freedom and statehood for the Palestinians, the reason being that Israel
has been taking over that people and its country. The UN vote was a way help
save the two-state solution – and Israel as a majority Jewish country – before
occupation makes it too late.JAMES ADLER
Sir, – I recently woke up to learn that I now live in
I wonder if I should start paying taxes to the Palestinian
government or if I should just send my taxes to the Israeli government – since
the Palestinian government owes the Israeli government huge sums of money (for
electricity, water, infrastructure work and more) It may sting that the world’s
dictatorships and a few “liberal” democracies line up against us, but I think it
will sting more when the Palestinian government tries to collect my taxes and I
don’t pay.BARRY LYNN
Sir, – Now that the UN has declared the PA a
state, shouldn’t we take that state to court for the war crime of terrorism
against civilians committed by its “soldiers?” BARRY WERNER Netanya Good read
Sir, – I knew I was in for a good read when I saw Liat Collins twice in a recent
Friday edition of your newspaper – on the back page of the main section, and in
the weekend magazine.
In “Rockets and political science” (My Word,
November 30), she approaches her topic with no axe to grind. She gives a factual
account with her own opinions clearly drawn as opinion.
She quotes Khaled
Abu Toameh, Abba Eban and Avigdor Liberman in the same column, and makes use of
the unique strengths of each.
Some of the authors who have been accorded
that spot on the back page write as though they are shouting at the reader. Some
also posit their opinions as facts.
Collins does neither.
war?” in the weekend magazine (“Real Israel, November 30), she gives a very
down-to-earth account of what it is like to live in this seemingly constant war
zone. She is able to give people who do not live here a glimpse into the minds
and feelings of those of us who ducked when thunder sounded in the same week
that the Iron Dome missile defense system blasted Hamas rockets out of the
sky.BARBARA R. CARTER
Beersheba Less is more
Sir, – In “TAU study: Best
to stop smoking, but fewer cigarettes can help, too” (November 26), Judy Siegel
reports that Tel Aviv University researchers found that while quitting
completely is best, reducing cigarette consumption also provides health
benefits. This should be obvious, but as the piece explains, it is a
Many anti-tobacco activists believe in a “quit or
die” approach – quit using all tobacco forms completely or we can’t help you.
This view lacks compassion, is ineffective and, as the study points out, is not
based on sound science.
One innovative approach to helping people either
reduce the amount they smoke or quit smoking altogether is to encourage them to
switch from cigarettes, the most harmful form of tobacco and nicotine use, to
less harmful forms, like smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes.
very few people smoke. Instead, they use a less harmful form of smokeless
tobacco known as snus. Tobacco- related diseases plummeted after the population
switched from smoke to smokeless. Now available in Israel, Swedish-style snus
can help Israelis reduce the deadly toll of smoking as well.
fact is that nicotine, while highly addictive, is not the harmful component of
Burning tobacco and inhaling it is the most serious
As the TAU study underscores, even if the approach of reducing harm
is only partially successful, people who reduce while not entirely eliminating
cigarette consumption stand to gain.JEFF STIER
The writer is
director of the Risk Analysis Division of the National Center for Public Policy