Too late, baby
Sir, – Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s statements cannot
be sustained by the plain facts, and his last-minute, last ditch effort to change
minds was completely frivolous (“Ayalon: Latin American countries are having
second thoughts about PA’s UN statehood bid,” June 13).
There is no
evidence he changed anything.
The fact is, the Foreign Ministry has no
strategy worth the name for combating the Palestinian statehood effort. Only
now, indeed at the last minute, only months before the fateful General Assembly
vote, is the ministry barely lifting a finger to address this critical
There is no explanation or justification for not doing a thing for
two years, since 2009, when the Palestinians launched their
Like anything done at the last minute, what the Foreign
Ministry is doing now is doomed to failure.
The Palestinian push for
unilateral statehood in the UN is so hostile, it is essentially a declaration of
war against Israel. Diplomacy is supposed to avert war, but the Foreign
Ministry’s apathy has opened the door to conflict in September.YONATAN
SILVERMAN Tel Aviv
Lost at sea
Sir, – Ann Ighe (“Who we are and what we seek,”
Right of Reply, June 13) makes a series of claims that are not true.
asserts, without a shred of evidence, that “the blockade is unjust and a
violation of human rights.” And again, “not only is the blockade not legitimate
– it is illegal.”
I believe if she had even a modicum of knowledge about
international law, and the slightest degree of intellectual integrity, she would
desist from such patently false assertions.
In “The moralist” (Editor’s
Notes, April 22), Asa Kasher, a professor of philosophy at Tel Aviv University,
perhaps the clearest thinker about justice and morality when states are
threatened or attacked, demonstrates most convincingly that “the sea blockade...
is unquestionably legitimate according to all the laws of war at
But then, those who hold such passionate, self-righteous views
rarely, if ever, feel that they themselves need to be bothered by the
Sir, – Ann Ighe has written a very
She writes that the blockade of Gaza is an
injustice and violation of the human rights of the Gazan people.
blockade undoubtedly hinders the import and export of needed goods, but this is
not its intent. Rather, the objective is to reduce the import of weapons meant
to kill Israelis. Isn’t that the ultimate objective of Hamas and seemingly the
majority of Gazans? Does she believe that if Israel lifts the blockade, the
Gazans won’t import weapons? Does she believe that all they are interested in is
peaceful co-existence and that Israel only wants to cause suffering? Isn’t she
aware of the constant incitement and attempts to legitimize Israel? It is
truly unfortunate that the Palestinians and Israelis are in a state of war. In
war people suffer, and Israel wants nothing more than peace and to end this
Will the flotilla and its supporters change the situation?
Will the flotilla actually benefit the masses of Palestinians, or will it only
facilitate the continuation of hostility?RON BELZER Petah Tikva
Sir, – Ann Ighe
decries the actions of many to legitimize her organization, which is
sponsoring the next Gaza flotilla. She claims that its goals are sincere in
bringing humanitarian aid to ensure that Gazans enjoy the “right to trade, to
travel, to build, to develop their society.”
Her implications by
constantly using the word “blockade” are that there is a complete shutdown of
goods and services to Gaza. I would like to point out that Israel sends an
average of 15 tons of supplies per week into Hamas-run Gaza. In addition, she
might want to read “A year after ‘Mavi Marmara,’ life is better in Gaza” in the
same issue of the Post. There, Omer Ghraieb speaks about the fact that most
commodities are plentiful.
The only blockade at work is the blockade of
proper information as to what truly is the situation in Gaza: a sliver of land
that is ruled by a group of recognized terrorists being supplied daily by those
they are sworn to destroy.
Happy sailing.ZE’EV M. SHANDALOVMa’aleh Adumim
Sir, – How can Ann Ighe be sure weapons are not hidden in the
cargo? Has she personally checked all of it? Would she recognize a missile
launcher if it were brought in unassembled? There is no justification for
unsupervised supplies to pour into Gaza when Israel has made it clear it will
allow in all humanitarian supplies after they have been inspected. Let’s hope
the organizers of the flotilla will wake up to the fact that unless they
moderate their political agenda, many more people may pay the price with their
Sir, – Having nothing but respect for those
human rights organizations that work unceasingly for the underprivileged,
persecuted and poverty-stricken millions on our planet, I want answers as to why
Gaza, which everyone knows has to come to the table to discuss a political
solution for its future, has such a high profile? Why not Darfur, Somalia,
Zimbabwe and other places too many to mention, where wholesale slaughter and
rape are taking place? ZELDA HARRIS Tel Aviv
Sir, – Any sane, informed person
reading “Who we are and what we seek” has to say Ugh to Ighe.
playing hide and seek with the truth; she won’t even peek at it. There is so
much left out, but far worse are the lies, such as calling the blockade
illegal.BARRY WEISS JerusalemDame disappoints
Sir, – I read the concert
review of Kiri Te Kanawa’s performance (“Classical review, Arts &
Entertainment, June 6) and the recent letter to the editor that was critical of
the review (“Get some culture,” June 13).
I cannot agree with either. I
found both to be irrelevant to the actual performance! Having been there myself,
I was very disappointed. First of all, a perusal of the program was startling.
Te Kanawa chose to do only very short pieces so that she sang altogether at
least 16, the longest being Rachmaninoff’s beautiful “Vocalise.” Second, her
performance was subdued and unemotional. You would have never known from her
calm, cool rendition that Mozart’s “Chi sa, chi sa” was an anguished response to
a lover’s suspicions.
She brought along a young baritone who sang more
demanding material with brio and emotion. However, this was a sad swan song of a
concert by a formerly great Te Kanawa.ROCHELLE EISSENSTATJerusalemAl
Sir, – In “US-born IAI founder Al Schwimmer dies at 94” (June 12),
Yaakov Katz made no reference to Schwimmer being a member of Machal, the group
of 4,793 volunteers (men and women, Jews and non-Jews) from 58 countries who
helped Israel in its War of Independence.
Al’s contribution to the war
effort was absolutely unique. In my judgement, had it not been for Al, it’s
extremely doubtful as to whether Israel would have survived.
war, “Al’s fleet of aircraft” formed the nucleus of the newborn El Al Israel
David Ben-Gurion once stated: “The Machal forces were the
Diaspora’s most important contribution to the survival of the State of Israel.”
Al Schwimmer made a unique contribution toward Israel’s victory. It was indeed
his finest hour.SMOKY SIMONTel AvivThe writer is chairman of World Machal