The real issue
Sir, – Every year, the Palestinians and the descendants of
Palestinians mark the “nakba” (catastrophe) of Israeli statehood. They now mark
the 1967 “naksa” (setback), when Israel, in removing the existential threat of
three Arab armies ready to attack its borders, took control of the West Bank and
other territory (“PM vows Israel will protect borders with ‘determination and
restraint’ as mass ‘Naksa Day’ marches loom,” June 3).
The founding of
Israel on a small sliver of land was a “catastrophe,” but the loss of Jerusalem,
the West Bank, Golan and Sinai was just a “setback.”
The root of the
problem clearly is not how much land we can give away, but our mere existence in
any borders.BARRY LYNN
Efrat Fodder for hate
Sir, – For heaven’s sake,
stop all this coverage of American Jews backing away from President Obama (“Has
Obama lost the support of some Jews – and their funding?,” US Affairs, June
Of course, Jews are important in the Democratic Party, but not that
important. Every Jew-hater and Israel-hater reads in this: “Jewish money rules
American policy.”MICHAEL W. GOLD
Modi’in Choose your risk
Sir, – While
Larry Derfner criticizes those who fail to question assertions by Israeli
security authorities (“Ours is not to reason why,” Rattling the Cage, June 2),
he ignores the parallel blindness of members of the “peace camp,” who are
equally unlikely to question dogma from the Left.
We were told that a
pullout from southern Lebanon would lead to peace along the northern border.
Many on the Left urged a Gaza disengagement as the first step toward a peaceful
Palestinian state. Now it is being suggested that lifting the naval blockade on
Gaza will have no impact on Israel’s security.
Neither side is immune to
blind devotion to an ideology. But here is the difference: If those calling for
more security are wrong, the result may be a delay in reaching peace. If those
on Derfner’s side are wrong, many Israelis will surely die.
In a world
full of uncertainties, which risk is more reasonable? EFRAIM A. COHEN
Sir, – Larry Derfner has a point when he states that not everything can
and should be attributed to national security. However he misses a greater
point: Not everything that Israel is concerned about has to do with security.
There is also such a thing as national sovereignty, principles and drawing red
lines to prevent a security problem farther down the line.
withdrawal from Lebanon made sense at the time, much against all our better
instincts, but today Hezbollah is armed to the teeth and ready to use those
weapons against us.
The withdrawal from Gush Katif made everyone besides
residents of Sderot safer, claims Derfner, including the residents of Gush Katif
themselves. But did anyone ask Gush Katif residents what they themselves wanted?
Did they demand to be made safer? As to events like the Mavi Marmara, if Israel
has imposed a legal blockade on a terrorist entity, why should it allow a ship
full of foreign troublemakers to break that blockade, even if the flotilla
itself does not directly impact on Israel’s security today? Are no red lines
permitted for Israel? ANNE KLAUSNER
Petah Tikva Saying thanks
Sir, – In “A
question of equality” (Terra Incognita, June 1), Seth J. Frantzman gives an
excellent summary of the benefits of the proposed bill that would give IDF
veterans preference for civil service jobs. However, the bill does not go far
The proposed bill gives veterans preference only when two
candidates are equal (and how would “equal” be defined?).
properly compensate veterans, they should be given preference unless there is a
large qualitative difference.
Further, this preference should apply to
any and all rabbinical positions paid for by public funds. Thus, any proposed
Jerusalem city rabbi who served in the IDF would automatically receive
preference over a candidate who did not. I know it will never happen, but then
again, many of the best ideas in this country never do.DAVID GLEICHER
Sir, – The points Seth J. Frantzman brings up make complete
Equality is not an issue here.
These young men and woman
put their lives on the line for us.
They protect our land and our
citizens. They give up years of their lives to serve their country.
should they not receive special privileges and opportunities? While others who
are not willing or able to serve have time to polish their skills and advance in
their fields, those who see it as their duty to serve deserve as many rewards as
It is ridiculous to think that those who do not serve –either
in the military or national service – are on the same level as those who
Jerusalem Numbers game
Sir, – While I agree most
heartily with what Kenneth Bandler has to say in “Making the refugees priority
No. 1” (On My Mind, June 1), there exists one item with which I heartily
disagree: the number “4.7 million” Palestinian refugees. That number is patently
absurd and is a result of UNWRA having unilaterally defined the descendants of
the original refugees as being refugees, too, and in perpetuity.
there are many definitions of who is a refugee (the UN and various other
organizations have as yet to come up with one final definition), only the
Palestinians have enjoyed this unsanctioned and legally unrecognized privilege.
The census taken in August 1948 by Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN mediator (and
no friend of Israel), reported 330,000 Palestinian refugees who left for various
reasons too numerous to mention here.
Through various manipulations and
exaggerations, this number was raised to more than 700,000 by 1950. Since more
than 60 years have passed since Bernadotte’s census, it is fair to say that at
least half that number are now dead of old age. This means that those
Palestinians who may be considered “refugees” by normal definitions cannot
exceed 350,000 today (and that’s pushing it).
A “right of return” for
these refugees has the same spurious value as that for the millions of Germans
expelled from the Sudetenland and East Prussia after World War II, or the native
Americans shoveled onto reservations in the 1800s, or the Armenians
death-marched by the Turks almost 100 years ago.
While Germany and many
other nations absorbed refugees of all nationalities, only the Palestinians have
been forced into stateless squalor by other Arab nations. (Need we ask why?) So
I respectfully request that when we write about Palestinian residents in Iraq,
Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, etc., etc., we stop referring to them as refugees,
especially when combined with that ridiculous figure of “4.7
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas himself doesn’t
give a fig about any of them; if he did he would gripe to the UN about their
treatment at the hands of his “brother” Arabs. It’s certainly not our problem,
and we should stress that fact to anyone willing to listen.TREVOR DAVIS
Asseret Expensive education
Sir, – Regarding “Children to head back to school
early, but will have longer autumn holiday” (June 1), considering the lateness
of this decision, will the Education Ministry reimburse me for the $1,200 I must
pay to change our flights so that our son can attend the first day of school on
August 26? LARRY ABRAHAM
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