June 9: Lying about land

It is about time our government stopped referring to it as “disputed land” or “occupied territory.”

June 8, 2013 23:33

Letters 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )

Undivided nation

Sir, – I am writing with much frustration and tears over the results of the poll conducted of the Israeli attitude to the two-state solution and the division of Jerusalem (“‘Post’ poll: 72% of Jewish Israelis view Jerusalem as divided, 8% support Arab League plan,” June 5).

We must not allowed to once again become a small Canaanite enclave in the Middle East dominated by so many Arab goliaths.

We cannot divide the nation of Israel. We cannot allow the Jew in Tel Aviv to be so far apart from another Jew in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Nahariya or Karmiel.

Jerusalem was divided in 1948 and in Abu Tor there was a Jordanian battalion that kept shooting at people. Why must a Jew in Ramot live in desperation because the neighborhood was built after 1967? How can we go to the Kotel when the Arabs claim with vigor the Holy Basin to be completely theirs? Does anyone in Tel Aviv understand that the entire city of Jerusalem is very special in its atmosphere and unites Jews from all over the world? Nothing in Israel will be left untouched if God forbid we do not comprehend that this nation of Israel is one and indivisible. If we took a poll of these Israelis and rephrased the question and asked if we should give up the land of Tel Aviv University for the sake of peace, probably the same number of respondents to the question about dividing Jerusalem would be happy to give up part of Tel Aviv and certainly Jaffa. The battle for education among Israelis has just begun. We cannot afford to lose our identity as Jews for the sake of being able to live in ghettos in the Land of Israel.


Will peace pay?

Sir, – US Secretary of State John Kerry says “Quite simply, peace pays” (Jerusalem expresses opposition to int’l forces as part of any peace deal,” June 5).

That is of course true. Israelis need no convincing on that score.

I think I can safely say that everyone in Israel would prefer peace to perpetual conflict.

But that is not the issue. The only relevant issue is whether or not the creation of a Palestinian state on Israeli territory will actually bring peace to Israel.

From so-called moderates in the PA (when they speak in Arabic), to terrorist groups that surround our borders, to state actors like Iran, to international movements such as BDS, the answer to that question has been a resounding no.


Invented problems

Sir, – In regards to “Abbas threatens to dismantle PA if peace talks don’t start,” (June 5) – PA President Mahmoud Abbas is basically threatening: “If the game doesn’t start soon, played by my rules, I’m going to lie on my back, and scream and kick my feet in the air. And what’s more I’ll take my ball away, so there!” I’m sure we’re all impressed by this masterful example of Arab statesmanship. Maybe John Kerry has nothing more important to do then play around in the one country in the Middle East that is not going up in flames, but he is wasting his time and I’m sure that he and everyone else knows it too.

Perhaps he should change tracks and solve the Syrian crisis, or do something about the riots in Turkey, or worry about holding Egypt together, to say nothing about the imminently impending Iranian atomic bomb.

There are enough genuine acute problems in this neighborhood, he doesn’t have to invent new ones about which he can do nothing.

Ma’aleh Adumim

Lying about land

Sir, – So the “US [is] unconcerned with Hamdallah appointment” (June 4). Well, so am I.

Nor do I believe that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is the only one responsible for the stalemate.

Just as long as our government refers to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as “disputed” or “occupied” territories – not that either word should carry negative connotations – the settlement of this problem will continue to elude us. Why? Until and unless the legal status of the lands in question are recognized in international law, both sides will refuse any compromise.

Israel must concern itself with security issues and the Palestinians with regaining all “the occupied Arab lands” lost in the Six Day War.

However, if the lands in question belong to either one of the parties, the matter can be easily settled through negotiations. These words: “disputed” and “occupied” are getting in the way.

So what, then, is the legal status of the lands? In 1920 at San Remo, the whole of Palestine east and west of the Jordan River was granted to us.

This was ratified by the League of Nations and later by the United Nations. It is too late to haggle about Eastern Palestine, but all of the land west of the Jordan is Jewish land. No other country owned it and no United Nations division of the land can change it.

So it is about time our government made this clear and stopped referring to it as “disputed land” or “occupied territory.” Any government official who persists in using the term should be warned that it is a lie and treasonable.

Rishon Lezion

Tempered triumph

Sir, – In her article “The triumph of the working mother,” Stephanie Coontz lays out a few statistics that appear to show that it is beneficial for women, and mothers in particular, to be employed (Comment and Features, June 4).

But statistics, as everyone knows, can be deceptive and cherrypicked.

The real results of women’s “liberation” are clear when we look at the bigger picture of society: We are more depressed and more stressed than we were several years ago, and divorce rates are higher and families less cohesive.

Ms. Coontz herself admits that marital quality is lower for wives who “do not want to work but are forced to out of economic necessity.”

Social pressure, not just economic necessity, forces more women to work than she realizes.


Preventing tragedy

Sir, – It is very commendable for Sarit and Avi Noar to donate their son’s kidney to someone who needed it (“Bereaved parents donate son’s kidney to Bethlehemarea child,” June 3). But where were the window bars to keep their four-year-old son safe inside? Tragically, children do fall out of higher floor windows. Even with window bars installed, (sirugim) the practice of placing toddlers on window sills in higher floor apartments with their feet dangling over the ledge is courting disaster.

Beit Shemesh

Countering assaults

Sir, – I welcome the suggestion of Gideon Meir, director-general of the Foreign Ministry, for public diplomacy as I do any practical programs that counter the offensive assaults on our legitimacy (“Birthright-style program proposed for non-Jews,” May 31).

Overseas governments should be encouraged to send students on organized visits to Israel and to meet fellow students here. Nothing can best dispel the fraud of Israel being an “apartheid” or “racist” state than have visiting students witness reality and truth here.

I hope, Mr. Meir, that this is not mere lip-service, but is anchored in an adopted campaign with adequate funding and contacts sufficient, at least, to launch the first pilot tour.

A successful first visit should generate interest and funding from foreign governments that, apparently, do not lack the resources to promote the activities of NGOs whose centerpiece, it seems, is the criticism of Israel.

These countries have a domestic problem which includes the growing radicalization on their campuses and disruptive forces within their societies.

Cooperation and coordination between Israeli and overseas faculties of higher education can do much to isolate the extremists and reduce tension by having the mainstream students link up with Israeli students and see for themselves the true face of Israel, rather than surrender to radical propaganda.

They could become our future advocates on overseas campuses.


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