Sir, – The situation in Israel regarding the Beduin is an absolute disgrace (“Beduin removed from 70 dunams in Ramat Hasharon near Cinema City,” June 11).
In the world of 2013, it is an anachronism for any people to wander about from place to place and claim squatter’s rights wherever they encamp. A people like the Beduin are proud of their heritage. But Israel, like any other country, is no longer a wide-open desert. Land is privately owned or belongs to the state government.
The incident in Kfar Shmaryahu from where the Beduin had to be forcibly removed is a common occurrence. Everyone knows they have taken away so much land in the Negev and the government has refused to deal with the problem. Kfar Shmaryahu is far from the Negev and is a residential area of long standing here in Israel.
The picture of an Israeli government rounding up Beduin is not a pretty one to see, but there are laws in Israel – as in every country in the world – about illegal squatters. It is imperative for Israel to have a committee endowed with authority to come up with a plan that makes it necessary for the Beduin to adhere to laws of ownership in the courts. Otherwise, the entire land of Israel will be a land that is taken over by groups who covet this land above all other.
TOBY WILLIG Jerusalem
Sir, – Since Shmuley Boteach has decided to double-down on his defense of Samantha Power and her nomination as America’s UN ambassador (“The raging battle over Samantha Power, No Holds Barred, Comment and Features, June 11), let’s at least set the record straight.
Power is a stellar alumnus of the International Crisis Group, a think tank heavily funded by billionaire George Soros, arch-critic of Israel and most things Israeli. Not surprisingly, the ICG has made a specialty of bashing the Jewish State.
Power, Boteach fails to mention, was a also a key member of the ICG directorate that voted to bestow its 2008 “Founders Award” on Soros, in acceptance of which, he praised the think tank for its exemplary work on the “Palestine Question.”
No, Power, a genocide expert, never accused Israel of that crime, but she didn’t hold back in charging the Jewish State with “major human rights abuses” in its 2002 Defensive Shield operation against Tanzim terrorists in Jenin.
Nor was she shy to suggest the possible injection of US military forces into Judea and Samaria to safeguard the “human rights “ of the Palestinians.
Repentance is a cardinal principle of Jewish morality and its relationship with God.
We can only hope Samantha Power has truly admitted repentance into her mindset on Israel as she embarks on her ambassadorial assignment.
BILL MEHLMAN Efrat Peace of mind?
Sir, – No, the lambs, chickens and other fowl treated brutally as a matter of economic course are not silent but screaming for all to hear (“Animal abuses are a Jewish issue,” Comment and Features, June 11).
In light of the recent public letter of the the Eda Haredit and Badatz ultra-Orthodox kashrut authorities totally condemning any tsa’ar ba’alei haim (animal suffering) before shehita (kosher slaughter), why the seeming total information blackout in The Jerusalem Post or the haredi papers? The letter by the Eda and the Badatz as a friend of the court is public. Any cruelty to animals (especially inflicted to increase profits) is strictly Torah forbidden, the rabbis there say. But it goes on all day, every day all over the kosher meat world.
Modern factory farming, as Prof. Richard Schwartz constantly points out, is the inevitable cause of massive animal suffering.
Torah tradition insists one must eat meat on Shabbat and holidays in order to be happy. Can anyone who now knows the facts after the Kolbotek Channel 2 screening of the undercover films at the Tnuva “mehadrin” kosher meat plant eat their Friday night chicken or beef with peace of mind? Religious and secular agree in principal that “of course, I am against cruelty to my food animals.”
Who will raise the voice of truth on this issue?
MARK FEFFER Jerusalem Greatest curse
Sir, – Because of the series of events and our ultimate victory in the Yom Kippur war, in his article Uri Avnery writes that it looked immense – so immense, indeed that many believed in an act of God (“Triumph and tragedy,” Comment and Features, June 10).
Avnery, of course, condemns Israel as the one that attacked, albeit he says under utmost provocation.
Even today, we are condemned for our acts of defense. The pity is that the people quickly forgot that our immense victory could only have been through “an act of God” and was never heard again or at least not spoken of.
The Movement for a Greater Israel after the victory would have meant an Israel standing with faith and pride in the justness of our cause and many more “acts of God” would have followed. The faith and strength was just not there, and gradually there was an erosion in our own ability to keep what was ours and the stage was set for concessions.
Our security became something of a joke when our IDF was condemned for opening fire at our enemies.
Avnery writes that, “as in a Greek tragedy, hubris did not go unpunished. The gold turned to dust. The greatest victory in Israel’s history turned into its greatest curse. The occupied territories are like the shirt of Nessus, glued to our body to poison and torment us..... we can only wish that it had never happened.”
I believe that our greatest curse and the poison that torments us was the founding of Gush Shalom [ the peace movement which Avnery founded] and its like, and that is what we can only wish had never happened.
YENTEL JACOBS Netanya
Sir, – Barry Rubin is a very serious and learned conservative writer, and his reasons John Kerry will fail deserve a close and respectful analysis (“Kerry’s embarrassing ‘peace process’ obsession,” The Region, Comment and Features, June 10).
None of his reasons mention settlement expansion, neglecting that the settler count almost doubled from Oslo’s start to 2000 and rapidly grew even during those talks.
Rubin’s assertion that since 2000 the Palestinians have not been serious is particularly and strikingly senseless. Israel has doubled the settler count and in the past decade has ignored the 2002 Saudi-Arab League comprehensive peace offer with Israel.
Then Rubin says annexationism is dying in Israel, when in reality it is growing. Look at the many Post columnists who want it – including those most popular with readers, Martin Sherman and Caroline Glick – and who name the West Bank “Judea and Samaria;” and the Bayit Yehudi Party’s success in the most rightwing and annexationist government in history.
Finally, Rubin’s question: “Who cares how many Palestinians there are; they aren’t being ruled by Israel and they are not Israeli citizens” is ludicrous.
His idea that West Bank Palestinians would be Jordanian citizens is fanciful, as the people would have no representation where it meant the most to them – economy, utilities, infrastructure, housing, the courts, and especially schools and police – and it would institutionalize the segregation. It would be unprecedented for a people not to be citizens of the country they live in.
I agree with Rubin that Kerry’s plan will probably fail, but because it has a different fallacy – that Israel will, tragically for the Jewish people both in Israel and the world, not act rationally in its own self-interest –with the annexationism and expansionism growing apace – for a two-state solution.
JAMES ADLER Cambridge, Massachusetts