It’s too late
Sir, – You report that the Palestinian Authority will turn to the
UN to implement Resolution 181, which called for the partition of Mandatory
Palestine (“PA considers return to 1947 UN Partition Plan if US vetoes state,”
The PA will have a problem with this. The resolution was
Following a war, the areas known as the West Bank, Gaza
Strip and east Jerusalem ended up under Arab/Moslem control. They could have
been declared an independent entity.
Instead, they were allowed to be
absorbed by existing countries.
Arab leaders had their chance to declare
a state based on Resolution 181. They have no legal pretense to call on a
now-inoperative resolution.AHARON GOLDBERG
Hatzor Haglilit Scotch and
Sir, – The Scotch whisky affair seems to be getting out of hand
(“Jewish men’s clubs declare boycott against Scottish whiskey distilleries,”
One of the smallest Scottish local authorities makes a decision
in principle not to buy Israeli produce, which it then fails to
This then leads to people, supposedly opposed to political
boycotts, setting up a boycott.
No matter that the whisky companies
themselves have taken the issue up with their local council in West
Dunbartonshire, expressing opposition to the non-implemented boycott.
matter that the local Jewish community has already been successful in enlisting
the support of the regional member of the Scottish parliament in getting the
council to reconsider its decision.
This is where handling of the issue
should begin and end – with the input of locally organized and highly respected
Scottish Jewish community bodies.
The affair does not make me more or
less proud about being Scottish. It just tells me that Scots are as likely to be
naive and gullible as people of much larger countries.KENNETH COLLINS
The writer is a past chairman of Scottish Council of Jewish
Sir, – I am dismayed, shocked and angry over the attempt by Kenneth
Collins to suppress public response to the boycott of Israel.
prescription of leaving it to adults who understand these things has not been
outstandingly successful in the past.
As a citizen of the boycotted
country, as a Scotsman, and no less as as a free person on planet Earth, I
reject his message and its attitude completely.
As they say where I come
from: Away an bile yer heid.RALPH KATZENELL
Sir, – Evelyn Gordon (“Israel’s ‘anti-democracy,’” Comment &
Features, June 12) quotes a citizen as saying that the party he voted for “has
terrible people in it, but I had no choice” because he wouldn’t vote for the
other major parties. Exactly what system is Gordon proposing that would provide
a better choice? In a system with an individual candidate per party per
district, the situation would be no better: A voter for whom one major party was
unthinkable would have “no choice” but to vote for whatever individual
represented the other party. At the same time, though, voters who favor small
parties would be disenfranchised because those alternatives would be destroyed
by geographical fragmentation. The voter would have two, maybe three individuals
to choose from instead of a dozen or more parties.
How does reducing
choice improve democracy? MARK L. LEVINSON
Herzliya Not-so-sunny skies
Kudos on a succinct and well-written editorial (“Harness the sun,” June 10)
about Israel’s abject failure to embrace alternative energy, and solar energy in
Unfortunately, you fail to mention that Israel is home to the
man who has pioneered solar energy, Arnold Goldman, who developed the first
solar power plant that continues to operate in the Mojave Desert. Goldman
continues to be a pioneer in this field, but his company finds the business
climate more suitable in California than in Israel.
It is unfortunate
that Israel has not taken advantage of the immense knowledge of people like
Arnold Goldman, who could help the country wean itself from very expensive
What a shame.ELLIOTT CAHAN
Modi’in Embedded info
Sir, – David Horovitz is to be congratulated and thanked for his June 10
suggestion (“Guess what: Our enemies lie,” Editor’s Notes) for a military “team,
working not solely with a view to compiling information for later use, but
charged with finding out as much as possible as quickly as possible for
immediate dissemination” during fighting and other confrontations. It is high
time! In my 50 years of living in Israel I have read or heard every variation of
complaint about our poor propaganda. This is the first common-sense suggestion I
have read. It should be implemented as soon as possible with teams-in-training
to give reliable reports in real time.
David Ben-Gurion said many years
ago: “I don’t care what the goyim say, I only care what Jews do.” This has
become canonized, even fossilized. It was true when the media were only
newsprint and radio, with a latent period of several hours or days before
publication, but in today’s world of instant communication, it is no longer
Horovitz has outlined an admirable plan. It should be brought
without delay to the appropriate officials. For too long we have only reacted
too late and with too little.CYRIL B. SHERER
Jerusalem Sir, – Israel
cares way too much what the world thinks of it. If the cross-border protests in
the North resulted in no Arab deaths, Israel would be just as hated. And if
Syria announced that 50,000 had been killed, BBC and CNN would report it as
So what should Israel do? Refute every lie? Beg to be loved? No.
Better that Israel simply act in its own best interests, whether this will meet
with world approval or not.ABE KRIEGER
Highland Park, New JerseyDon’t
Sir, – Yossi Alpher has put forth an admittedly radical
proposal for Israel: that it enter talks with Hamas, in which case neither Egypt
nor the PLO would feel outflanked (“In Gaza, time to try a new option,” Comment
& Features, June 10). What Alpher does not consider is that talking to Hamas
undoubtedly would outflank the US, which continues to regard Hamas as a foreign
terrorist organization (FTO), with all the legalities this implies.
having returned from two very productive multi-day visits on Capitol Hill, I can
attest that Israel is currently enjoying incredible support on both sides of the
political aisle. I found unexpected receptivity concerning related matters at
the State Department as well. But engaging with Hamas and thereby effectively
cutting off pro-Israel American leadership at the knees is likely to erode this
Israel can ill-afford to make a mockery of congressional efforts
to isolate Hamas, or to undermine the May 6 letter to President Obama in which
27 senators called for a termination of aid to the new PA/Hamas
That Hamas is a destructive and intractable enemy is not a
debatable point. Congress gets it. Foggy Bottom Arabist policy wonks get it.
Even Alpher must get it, having recently acknowledged on his website that “Hamas
remains committed to violence against Israelis and to militant Islamist
We ignore the potential repercussions from acting otherwise
at our peril.JEFF DAUBE
The writer is director of the Israel
office of the Zionist Organization of America