No value at all
Sir, – While I don’t wish to get ahead of the outcome of the
vote (“US rejects Arab League’s ‘diplomatic offensive’ on Palestinian UN
statehood bid,” July 15), there is a problem here.
Article 2 of the
United Nations Charter explicitly demands that its member states respect the
sovereignty of all other member states. In other words, for the Palestinians to
have their own state recognized by the UN, they surely would have to come into
compliance with Article 2, which means not only recognition of Israel’s right to
exist, but respecting that right.
As to the more-than 115 member states
that, as things stand today, would vote in favor of Palestinian statehood, they,
too, would be in violation of the charter, to which they are
Does all of this mean what I think it means, namely that the
UN Charter isn’t worth the paper it was written on? FRANK J. VAN BERS
Sir, – Would it not be an interesting exercise in diplomacy if, in order
to induce some states to think twice about supporting a resolution to the UN
General Assembly for the recognition of a Palestinian state, similar resolutions
were introduced calling for the simultaneous recognition of an independent
Tibet, Kashmir, Corsica, Chechnya, etc.? Perhaps even more thought-provoking, for
Turkey, Syria, Armenia, Iraq and Iran at least, would be recognition of an
independent Kurdistan, as proposed by the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, which formally
ended the First World War between the Ottoman Empire and the
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Jerusalem Penalize non-patriotism
Sir, – I would
like to take exception to your editorial opposing a mandatory pledge to the flag
and the singing of our national anthem (“Respecting Hatikva, July 15). As a new
immigrant who was raised in the United States, I can say that being required to
pledge allegiance and sing the national anthem does instill
The problem with the pledge in the US was the insertion of
“one nation under God” in the 1950s. The US is predominantly Christian, and
those reciting it were referring to Jesus. There were no exceptions to the
requirement to recite the pledge and sing the anthem.
We are the nation
of the Jewish people reborn. Our enemies teach their children to hate us from
the maternity room on, as the learned professor from Haifa sarcastically accuses
the bill’s authors of trying to do.
It is bad enough that Israeli Arabs
who benefit from our kindness won’t be required to sing or pledge. I don’t know
what a “post-Zionist” (whatever that is) or a religious anti- Israel citizen
would object to, but if they won’t allow their children to be patriotic, there
should be a penalty.JOEL HANDELMAN
Tel Aviv Re-education needed
Regarding “The brouhaha over the boycott bill” (Politics, July 15), there is
none so blind as those who will not see.
This adage holds up well in view
of the constant barrage of talk we hear about the two-state solution being a
wonderful way to achieve peace in the Middle East.
Objective facts point
out that the Palestinians in no way want a two-state solution or peace with
Israelis. Stanley Greenberg, a well-known American pollster, found that hatred
of Israel lies very deep in the Palestinian psyche and in no way can there be
Over 66 percent of the Palestinians he polled were against the
two-state solution. They wanted one state, which should be Palestinian. All the
cajoling of the Palestinian leadership by Western nations has achieved
We must start with the truth.
The Palestinian leadership
cannot bring anything to the peace table because it has never prepared its
people for a peaceful solution.
If President Barack Obama and the leaders
of other Western nations hope to achieve a peaceful solution to the problems of
the Palestinian people, they must recognize that education, education and more
education is the only answer.
A whole new generation of Palestinians has
to be re-educated under a new leadership.
We cannot fathom the depth of
hatred in the so-called peace process, so we run around in the same old
Let us wait until the Palestinians are re-educated and then
Jerusalem Distorted thinking
Sir, – Opposition leader
Tzipi Livni has the right to oppose the recent anti-boycott bill and call it
undemocratic. But at the same time, she and her Kadima party punish two MKs for
not voting against the bill because, evidently, the MKs’ conscience didn’t
permit them to do so (“Kadima disciplinary body punishes ‘rebel’ MKs for not
voting against ‘boycott’ law,” July 14).
Is this democracy? Undemocratic
“party discipline” overrules voting as one’s conscience dictates, yet Livni does
this in the name of preserving Israel as a democracy.
How distorted can a
politician’s thinking get? HOWARD BURG
Netanya Limits to freedom
Sir, – With
reference to “Do not desecrate the image of God” (Comment & Features, July
13), I suggest the following considerations on the subject of free
Freedom of speech is not absolute, just as freedoms of the press,
assembly, etc., are not absolute. Values of safety, law and order override them.
The classic case is the prohibition of shouting fire in a crowded
Other examples include laws against libel, incitement, making
threats against the lives of national leaders, fraudulent advertising, contempt
of court, and even Robert’s Rules of Order.
The rabbis who approve of
Torat Hamelech are claiming the rights of free speech and religion – which they
would never grant to their opposition if they were in power.
separation of religion and state does not mean sharing authority. Either
religion rules over state, as in Muslim theocracies, or state rules over
religion, as in the US, where freedom of religion does not allow Christian
Scientists to withhold medical treatment from their children.JACOB
Jerusalem Prepare for delays
Sir, – As one who is infuriated when kept
waiting by family or friends, I was intrigued by Judy Montagu’s column
“Time-bomb for the tardy” (In My Own Write, July 13).
There is one reason
for lateness that Montagu did not list, and that is the cursedness of inanimate
objects. For example, the recalcitrant contact lens that refuses to be inserted
or, worse still, falls on the floor and vanishes just before one leaves the
house. The dirty mark that suddenly appears on the newly laundered blouse one
had planned to wear, necessitating a change of outfit. The necklace that refuses
to be fastened or the sudden disappearance of the piece of paper bearing the
directions to one’s venue that was in your hand 10 minutes
These things must happen to us all at some time, so I guess
the moral is to assume that some hindrance is bound to occur before an
appointment and to allow enough time to cope with it.LOLA S. COHEN
CORRECTIONS MK Nissim Ze’ev called MK Haneen Zoabi a “Jezebel,” and
not as reported in “I authorized boycott bill, PM tells critics,” (July
In “Comforting the afflicted, afflicting the comfortable” (Editor's
Notes, July 15), Hillel should have been quoted as saying “What is hateful to
you, do not do unto others,” and not as represented.
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