Sir, – Irving Moskowitz should be commended for having delayed
his project for so long (“Haj Husseini’s Shepherd Hotel in east J’lem demolished
to make way for Jewish homes,” January 10). He bought the property in 1985 and
delayed for over 25 years the fulfillment of his rights.
There are very
few investors with his patience and tenacity.
People who comment on
certain areas of Jerusalem as belonging to one segment of the population or
another have no idea what this city really looks like.
Jerusalem is not
like Belfast, which has clear Protestant and Catholic delineations, or Beirut,
which had an east and west when Lebanon still had a Christian minority worth
There is no such geographical separation in Jerusalem.
Whoever speaks of such is out to make his own agenda and refuses to see that
Jerusalem must be a united city for all its population.THELMA SUSSWEIN
Sir, – There is considerable Jewish building activity in east
Jerusalem. Jews have been successful in repossessing property they owned there
via our courts.
Similar attempts by Arabs to use our courts to reclaim
property they owned in west Jerusalem are for some reason blocked. It would be
interesting to hear why.
The UN is at present compiling detailed claims
of such properties in west Jerusalem, which are numerous and of great
These findings are likely to be made public in the near future,
and at that point we will most probably be embarrassed.
There are Jews
who lost property in east Jerusalem, and according to our courts they are fully
justified in claiming what is theirs. But it would seem that such actions will
bring a much greater counter-claim from Arabs, who owned properties in west
Jerusalem far in excess of the properties Jews owned in the eastern past of the
Kiryat Ono The ‘I’ has it
Sir, – Tzachi Hanegbi’s
Obamaesque style of using “I” wherever it can be shoehorned in is somewhat
In his most recent column, on departing Mossad director Meir
Dagan (“Farewell to ‘Superman,’” Comment & Features, January 10), we find
him writing: “In my capacity...,” “I was asked to weigh in...,” “I was fully
aware...,” “I have closely and directly followed...,” “I served, by prime
ministerial appointment...,” “I chaired...,” “I was continuously exposed to all
the inner workings....”
I, for one, would be glad to say farewell to this
Jerusalem Stand up, please
Sir, – In “Our
comically insecure – even hysterical – establishment” (Comment & Features,
January 10), Roi Maor says that Palestinians are standing up for
Really? He should cite his proof.
What evidence does
Maor have to support such a statement? He should show us a quote, a speech,
op-ed pieces and editorials by ranking Palestinians.
Abu Mazen wants a
democratic Israel? The last time I looked he was holding up a map of Palestine
that stretched from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. On that map,
Israel did not exist.
Is that the definition of the democracy Maor wants
for Israel? TUVIA BRODIE
Ma’aleh Adumim Simple transparency
Sir, – All this
weeping and wailing about McCarthyism is misplaced (“McCarthyism is here,”
Letters, January 10). No one’s right to dissent, to protest, to work diligently
for one’s selected social goals is at risk on either the Left or the Right from
legislation that simply requires financial transparency.
The howls of
outrage from leftwing NGOs are because they recognize that their credibility,
their halo-effect as self-described do-gooders for Israeli society, would be nil
if their funding is found to come from unsavory sources. However, such
transparency is more in keeping with democratic values than secret bankrolling.
It also puts foreign governments on notice as to how their NGOs’ tax-free monies
are being spent.
If NGOs are going to act like super PACs, then
transparency is vital for a functioning democracy.SARAH WILLIAMS
Sir, – I am thoroughly sick of reading letters in the Post from people
who live in safety and comfort abroad telling us simpleminded natives how to run
our country. Let them put their money where their mouths are and come and live
in Israel. Let them send their children to the army, and perhaps even live in
Here they can run for the Knesset, and their children can become
generals in the army.
Perhaps then they might say, to quote Arik Sharon,
“What you see from there is not what you see from here.”DAVID STEINHART
Petah TikvaLiberalism and other ills
Sir, – The “Israel’s present tense”
section of “Around the world in 12 months” (Comment & Features, January 9)
certainly portrays the sad decline in Israeli optimism.
bemoans the fact that his fellow liberals and lovers of peace have been
discouraged in their efforts to make Israel more peaceful and more
However, perhaps he fails to see the weakness of the liberal
position in Israel and the world.
He writes “...what it takes to live...
cherishing liberal democracy, while in the countries around us women are being
stoned to death for adultery, etc.” Does he not wonder, and should not our Peace
Now generation wonder, why today’s hatred for Israel comes not only from that
kind of fundamentalism, but from its strange alliance with the bastions of
liberalism – namely, the universities, Europe’s social democracies, a radical US
president, and tenured professors in Israeli universities who write that the
Jews are not a nation and do not deserve a territory or a state, and that
Zionism was an invention to rob the Palestinians of the land they deserve? How
can the Left and the liberals adopt the effort to delegitimize Israel fostered
by Arab and Muslim fundamentalism for half a century? Is it possible that giving
up God does not automatically make for human progress, that the continuation of
the anarchic radicalism of the ’60s does not bring enlightenment, love or peace
to the Middle East or anywhere in the world, that pressing a rampant secularism
upon Israeli society does not produce love of country, Jewish nationalism, or
appreciation from our enemies? Jewish fundamentalism is not being advocated
here. What is called for is less emphasis on the “now” in Peace Now; less guilt
for Israelis defending Israel; challenging the Left to find as much fault with
Iran and Saudi Arabia as it finds with Israel; asking why, of the almost 200
countries in the world, not one is faced with frantic efforts to delegitimize
Could it be that conservatism – not the religious movement in Jewish
religion, but in the sense of world culture and politics, with its emphasis upon
order, morality and respect for the past – is a better and more justified
ideology than a liberalism that has failed to prevent the Islamization of Europe
and which tolerates the open threat to destroy Israel, the only country in the
world to have received its birth certificate from the United Nations even before
it was born? JACOB CHINITZ
Jerusalem Appreciates PM
Sir, – While I like Foreign
Minister Lieberman’s approach to many of our woes (“We will not be Turkey’s
punching bag,” Comment & Features, January 6), I must commend Prime Minister
Netanyahu for the difficult, sometimes nearly impossible decisions he must make
to satisfy everyone while realizing that our enemies will accept nothing less
than the “whole piece.”RENIE HIRSCH