June 2: In good faith

Livni's call to pressure PA President Abbas to "negotiate" is devoid of any common sense and, as a lawyer, Livni should know this.

By JERUSALEM POST READERS
June 1, 2013 23:27
Letters

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

In good faith

Sir, – The call by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni to the international community to pressure PA President Mahmoud Abbas to ‘negotiate’ is devoid of any common sense and, as a lawyer, Livni should know this (“Livni: Abbas must be pressured to negotiate,” May 29).

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To negotiate in good faith there must be a desire to come to an agreement. If Abbas refuses to come to the table with or without preconditions, it does not show a genuine desire to agree with whatever may be the outcome.

He can always say that during negotiations I had my fingers crossed behind my back and am therefore not bound by any decision I was forced by the international community to make.

One of the problems is that even if some agreement should be made, the Palestinians can always say that Abbas’s term as leader came to an end some years ago and therefore he cannot speak for them. He certainly cannot speak for the Arabs living in Gaza under Hamas rule, with whom he cannot even come to any agreement after numerous tries and after being pressured by Egypt. If the Arabs in Judea and Samaria cannot come to an agreement with those in Gaza, what hope is there for a genuine agreement being made with Israel assuming that Abbas is pressured to negotiate?

CYRIL ATKINS
Beit Shemesh


Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said last week that Israel was willing to make concessions for peace.

“We’re prepared to compromise for peace, for genuine peace, this is our most fervent hope to live in peace with our neighbors,” he said.

It should be obvious by now that there is no such thing as “compromise” when it comes to our security, because the enemy sees it as a sign of desperation and weakness, takes advantage of it and waits for the next concession, weakening us even further until we have reached a point of no return.

Who in their right mind would want to relive the disasters we have already experienced through concessions for peace? Peace comes only when one’s enemy has been destroyed or weakened to the extent that they understand they will never ever be allowed to harm even one more Jew.

When Livni points out “My understanding is that [Bayit Yehudi party head] Naftali Bennett is willing to live with negotiations and this is a window that I can work with for a while,” I can only interpret that as yet another ‘right-winger’ biting the dust.

Unfortunately we discover that Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, whom we thought would be the champion of Judea and Samaria, has also gone the same way.

When the Jewish communities from Judea and Samaria wanted to directly face Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon, an appointee of Ehud Barak, in the presence of MKs, Ya’alon took the side of Alon and refused the request of the “settlers.”

I think we are in serious trouble, but it need not be like that.

We have to believe in the justness of our cause and proudly and with faith stand strong in the face of all pressure.

YENTEL JACOBS
Netanya


Equally frustrated

Sir, – Josh Hasten asserts the need to respond forcefully to the upswing in violence targeting Israeli civilians in Judea and Samaria (“Call it what you want, the terror must stop,” View From the Hills, Comment and Features, May 29).

Unfortunately, he does not mention parallel violence aimed at Palestinians, including Israeli citizens, as noted in The Jerusalem Post the following day (“‘Price tag’ attacks target cars in Jordan Valley, east Jerusalem,” May 30).

While Hasten says that the IDF must be allowed to protect citizens whose lives are being threatened, the most recent price-tag attacks cannot be explained on those grounds. All indications are that they were committed in commemoration of a terrorist attack that took place at the Tapuah Junction 30 years ago.

Hasten observes that Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are “becoming frustrated” by the lack of tangible changes to the security situation on the ground. Palestinians have every right to be equally frustrated if their lives and property are not adequately protected by Israeli officials. Frustration on both sides can only increase the likelihood of violent confrontations.

Price-tag terrorists embarrass Israel before the world. In doing so, they harm our nation more than our enemies ever could. It matters not what cause they claim to champion. Their cowardly attacks against those who are least able to defend themselves are intolerable. We must not allow a bunch of barbarians to debase our society through their lawless behavior.

EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Ya’acov


Priding ourselves


Sir, – Congratulations to MK Yariv Levin for finally telling it as it is (“MK submits bill to give legal priority to state’s Jewishness,” May 28).

Why, when it is so much safer and easier to make a living elsewhere, do we live in Israel, if not for the fact that it is a Jewish state? Why do our parents, children, and grandchildren spend years in the military instead of in school or working? And why, as Jews, do we spend years worrying about them? We are here because it is a Jewish state, not because it is a democracy.

Centuries of persecution, if nothing else, have taught us that we are not like other people or other countries. We need to present ourselves, and pride ourselves, on what we are and not try to emulate others. We need to treat everyone in a democratic fashion, but we are primarily a Jewish state.

Perhaps if we are proud to be Jews in our own Jewish land, others will respect us, too.

SARA SMITH
Jerusalem


Moral headache

Sir, – I read with great interest the article “Israel’s legal headache” by Yonah Jeremy Bob (Rule of Law, Frontlines, May 24) and thought it was an excellent piece of journalism. The legal problems with the African migrants are indeed complicated and I hope our best minds use wisdom in finding a solution.

I am, however, also very concerned about Israel’s moral headache. We are the people who are taught “Be kind to the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” I hope every effort will be made to appeal to the UN and peaceful countries in the world to accept some of these refugees, as we most certainly are not peaceful and do not have the means to keep them here. Nor can they be sent back to countries where they will be abused and possibly killed.

I wonder if anyone has thought of the idea of offering some of them conversion classes? Rather than having them sit in confinement with nothing to do, can they not be offered education? This is something every Arab prisoner has access to – even the murderers and terrorists.

We have received converts from every group in the world – why not African migrants who have landed in our laps and have suffered so much?

IRENE STERN
Netanya


Act intelligently


Sir, – The Knesset is so busy debating how haredim should serve in the army or national service that it has not paid attention to the problems of our finding oil and natural gas. These deposits of oil and natural gas can make a very great difference in the economy of Israel. We need someone to manage the new economy, to lower the prices of electricity, to decide what should be exported and in general to function like the chairman of the Bank of Israel.

We need to place our faith in a person above politics, someone who the Knesset respects but can’t bully. This is an opportunity for Israel to really do things effectively and thus protect itself.

The anti-haredi draft war is a prime example of the political agenda of each participating Knesset party. It shows that the political interests of parties are more important to them than the national need. This cannot be allowed to happen with Israel’s greatest asset.

For the sake of Israel, we must act intelligently.

TOBY WILLIG
Jerusalem


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